MUSIC 434
History of Electroacoustic Music

     
Home    |    Time Line    |    Listening selections    |    Class schedule    |    Listening Journal assignments    |    Related Links

Tuesday, Thursday 3:05 - 4:20
117 Borland
3 credits

Instructor: Mark Ballora
ballora@psu.edu

Office:
227 Theatre Building
    Office Hours:
Mondays 1:00 - 2:00
Thursdays 1:00 - 2:00
and by appt.
    Phone:
863-3386

Electroacoustic:
The transformation of energy between the electrical and acoustic domains.


Philosophy of Electroacoustic Music:
"Anything goes -- or at least anything might go, and we won't know until we try."

Colby Leider, "Observations Re: Jon Appleton." Journal SEAMUS 17 (1-2):2-3.


What is this course?
This class will cover the history of music produced from electricity, focusing on the development of musical composition within the contexts of culture and technology.

There is no textbook purchase required for the class. Your guide will be this Web site.

Class sessions will consist of presentations of musical pieces and discussions of these pieces in the historical contexts described on the pages linked from the course schedule.

Grading Breakdown
8 Crossword assignments
(2% each)
16.0%
9 Listening Journals
(2.5% each)
22.5%
3 in-class tests
(9% each)
27.0%
3 in-class presentations
(4% each)
12.0%
Final paper 15.0%
Attendance and participation 7.5%

Homework assignments will consist of crossword puzzle assignments that are based on the on-line history text pages.

Listening Journals will be submitted as hard copy. A discussion question will be posted on the course ANGEL pages each week and students will be asked to submit a written response to it.

Crossword puzzles will be graded as a simple ratio of correct answers to total number of answers.

Written homework assignments will be graded on a three-tiered scale:

check-plus = outstanding (100%)
check = good/acceptable (95%)
check-minus = could use more work (85%)
no answer = seem to have listened to the works, but didn't answer the question (60%)
no evidence = no evidence of a student having listened to the pieces in question, or read the related course text pages (40%)

Crossword puzzles are "surface learning" items: they are objective answers that are tips of icebergs in terms of relevant information. They contain questions that will appear on the class exams. But more importantly, they are clues to issues that you should be paying attention to. Listening journals are "deep learning" items: they are expected to reflect critical thinking and focused listening. Be aware that laying eyes on a page is not the same thing as really reading and understanding it.

The class will be conducted in seminar format. A high level of engagement and participation is expected of all students. Students will be expected to have listened to pieces, read the related course pages, and be ready to discuss their connections.

Students will work on a final paper on a particular piece throughout the semester. The paper will be completed in three sections. Students will give two in-class presentations on the first two parts of the paper. These will be expected to kick off a healthy discussion about why the piece is important and how it relates to other topics covered in the course. Presentations on the first two parts will occur during the same class session as the midterms.

Click here for a description of the final paper.

The tests will be in two parts. The first will be a listening component, where students will be asked to identify the composer and title of the listening items for that particular test, as identified on the Listening List page. For the second part, students will have the option of a) writing an in-class essay, where students will be asked to write about at least one of the pieces; or b) a series of multiple choice questions taken from the crossword puzzles.

How are grades calculated?
The final letter grade is entered according to the following point ranges:

94+  A
90.00-93.99  A-
86.00-89.99  B+
83.00-85.99  B
80.00-82.99  B-
76.00-79.99  C+
73.00-75.99  C
70.00-72.99  C-
60.00-69.99  D
59.99 and below  F

     
Home    |    Time Line    |    Listening selections    |    Class schedule    |    Listening Journal assignments    |    Related Links