CCSF MUS27A Symposium musician with his seven-stringed lyre beside the fluted column of a building, ca. 460 b.c.  University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology (c) Instructor: Larry Ferrara  
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Music Appreciation




taught by Larry Ferrara


City College of San Francisco Office A129, ph: (415) 239-3856


Music Appreciation is an exploration in the materials and masterworks of great music, from Medieval Chant to Contemporary Popular styles. Students begin by studying the elements of music (pitch, melody, rhythm, harmony, form, etc.) then learn about the instruments of the orchestra and build a comprehensive vocabulary with which to understand and evaluate musical expression. From there, they survey the continuum of musical history in Western Civilization, from the Middle Ages through the present time. Along the way the student will become aware of musical form, the great works and composers of Classical music and in ultimately by the end become a better music listener.

The 22 web lectures are embedded with over 90 audio examples. There are reading assignments, and links to other resources on the Web. Music Appreciation also features a Bulletin Board, and weekly quizzes that the student can use to test him or herself and prepare for exams.


There is one item which must be purchased for this course:

1.) The textbook: Listen, Brief Fifth or Sixth Edition by Joseph Kerman, published by, Bedford St. Martin, which comes with an optional CD set.

How to obtain the text book-

The best place to obtain the book is at the City College of San Francisco bookstore. But if you run into problems, you can contact the publisher, Bedford St. Martin, directly by calling: 1-617-399-4000.

If you prefer online ordering you can try Amazon. This site carries new as well as "gently used" books, which will save you some money.


You can use Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, or Netscape for this course. Your computer must have an mp3 player, which many computers already have installed in their operating system. If you don't have one, you can download it using the WinAmp  website. You must also have the latest version of Flash Player installed. You can download the Flash Player here: Flash Player Icon

There will by weekly Assignments for you to fulfill with corresponding web lectures, reading homework and listening files. To access the Assignments page and log into this course and select Assignments from the menu. View the tasks to complete.

There will by a scheduled weekly Quiz with questions that will help you better understand the concepts you will be learning and understand the music you will be listening to. To access the Quizzes page, log into this course and select Quizzes from the menu. Take the 1 quiz for each week of work and then submit it for self-evaluation.

There will by a weekly Bulletin Board postings with questions and discussions for you to answer and participate in. To access the Bulletin Board page, log into this course and select Bulletin Board from the menu. Find the weekly question(s) or discussion thread(s) and participate.

There will by a scheduled Live Discussion on certain occasions and especially before exams. To access the Discussion page, log into this course and select Chat from the menu. Enter the Review Session Room.


The Assignment Page of the website coordinates the web lectures, the textbook reading and the listening portion of the class. Each  weekly assignment will list the work you will need to complete for every week. All the Web Lectures are dated with the corresponding week they are due. Once you've visited (read and listened to) a week’s worth of web lectures and listening components, completed the weekly text book readings and have done the web lectures for the week you will then proceed to the Quiz section of the course and take the corresponding quiz.


The assignments corresponding quizzes and bulletin board bulletin board postings are specifically designed to help you prepare for the midterm and final exams. The more you do them (they are required), the better you'll fare on the exams. You will need to take a quiz at the end of each week’s assignment. The weekly quizzes are required for they are a way for you (and me) to make sure that you are keeping up with the material in the text and on the web. The midterm and the final exam will be taken in person at City College of San Francisco’s Phelan Campus.


Most of the genres, terms and instrument explanations are embedded with sound files or mp3’s. You can either down load these files to your computer and then open them, or open the files directly from the server location. If you download them, you will have them for future reference and can hear them “off line.” It is recommended that you download them (for future review) as well as listen to them as you are reading the corresponding information. If you have a fast internet connection (T1, DSL or cable) then opening them from their current location will be a quicker way for you to hear the examples. It is still possible to download the sound files with a dial up connection it will just take longer. To download any of the sound files from the course right click the file and [Save Target As].

All of the recorded examples are also available in the Media Center. If you prefer you can listen to them from the Media Center located on the 4th floor of Rosenberg library, City College Phelan campus. When you enter the Media Center ask for the any of the Supplemental CDs (CD’s 1-7) for Music Appreciation taught by Larry Ferrara. The content of the CD will be found in a three ring binder in the front of the media center and will coordinate with the sequence of web lectures. If you opt to use the Media Center on the Phelan campus of City College of San Francisco be sure to keep track of the time you spend there. This is done by filling out (with the stamped date and time) a blue time card supplied by the Media Center. Going to the Media Center to do the listening is NOT a requirement but an option for you to fulfill the listening requirement.

You need to do the equivalent of one hour of music listening a week in this course. The way you fulfill that requirement is by either downloading the files from the Music Appreciation website, by listen to streaming audio example available to you from the weekly web lecture, or optionally visiting the Media Center (see above) to do your listening. Your listening hours will be kept track of by your instructor tracking the amount of files you down load from the Music Appreciation pages and the amount of time you are actually listening to the streaming sound files from the web lectures.


Each week during the semester there will be a question posed to you on the class Bulletin Board. This question will formulate a discussion thread in the class. In addition to the weekly readings, web viewing and listening, these weekly questions will contain musical issues for you to consider. Afterward you will post your answer on the course bulletin board. You are expected to keep up with these questions by answering them and responding to other class members.

To keep up these questions you must contribute each week (a semester minimum of 18 postings staggered throughout the semester): Your bulletin board posts can be either answering a question that I pose or comments on another class member’s response to a question regarding a previous post. Your participation will be graded and you will be asked similar questions during the midterm and later final exam.


During the semester each student is assigned the writing of three music reviews; two live music reviews and one video review, or three live reviews (three total reviews). These reviews are based on two attended live performances and/or one rented video. Your video choice will be from one of the following: Immortal Beloved (BEETHOVEN), Impromptu (CHOPIN) or Amadeus (MOZART). These concert reviews and one video review are due by the by the end of the semester and should be typed and handed in to me before or at the final exam. You must include a program or ticket stub along with your live concert review and when you rent a video include the rental receipt. An outline for how and what to write can be found at the bottom of the Assignment page of the course.


Attendance in the class will be followed by how often you log on to the course to do the work and experience the listening. You are expected to log on, read the web lectures, do the listening, take the quiz and post to the bulletin board each week. Each week you will have a new reading assignment, a new quiz and a new bulletin board question. You will have only one week to complete the readings, do the listening, take the two quiz and answer or respond to the bulletin board questions. If you do not log onto the course frequently and do the work each week you will lose points and it will affect your grade. If you do not log onto the class for one week, your grade will be lowered by one mark. If you miss two continuous weeks of absence (not logging on for two weeks), you will be dropped from the class.

The weekly quizzes will be recorded and graded. They will be open book and/or open computer. The weekly quizzes are in multiple choices, matching or true and false format. The midterm and final will be closed book and multiple choice, matching, true false or fill in/short essay format. In addition to preparing you for the midterm and final the weekly quizzes will indicate how you are keeping up with the class, website viewing, listening and textbook reading.


As far as interaction is concerned-- the more the better! There are three different ways to communicate:

1) DIRECT E-MAIL (for private communications to Mr. Ferrara.) Best used for “private” questions about registration, grades, problems, etc.

2) BULLETIN BOARD (answering questions that are placed each week ALL students can see; (not private)

3) LIVE CHAT: Before exams the discussion room will be utilized and material will be reviewed. To access the discussion room, log into this course, scroll down to the chat link, click on it and enter the Review Session room.

The WELCOME PAGE contains information on how to use the course and other pertinent course information.


The SYLLABUS PAGE contains an overview of the entire course and will give you a list of the topics covered in the semester.


The ASSIGNMENT PAGE contains links to the weekly web lectures, listening files and the corresponding readings from the text as well as content for successfully taking the quizzes.

The QUIZ PAGE has each week’s  quiz. You will have one week to complete each one and then it will be replaced with a newer quiz based on later course content. In other words you will have a new quiz each week and you have one week to take that quiz. Remember the quiz questions will help you greatly on the midterm and final.

The GLOSSARY PAGE gives you quick access to definitions to musical terms and words.

The LINKS PAGE takes you to other recommended music sites on the World Wide Web.

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