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Syllabus for upper-level chorus

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Professor: Dr. James D. Feiszli, CB318, Phone 394-5101
Office Hours: TT 9:00-10:00; other times by appointment

Prerequisites: three previous semesters of music ensembles and/or
permission of instructor

Meeting Times: see MUEN150 syllabus

Course Objectives and Goals - Through this course students will:
1. Gain a greater understanding of the historical style factors of Western
2. Develop personal knowledge of a particular genre, style, or, composer
through research of a particular composition or type of composition.
3. Develop a greater appreciation of the interaction between literature,
music, and other fine arts.
4. Develop communication skills through research and writing.

Methodology and Topics:
First, you will also be subject to the expectations and responsibilities
of the MUEN150/160 syllabus (attendance, sung tests, written quizzes). As
an upper level music ensemble student, you are expected to set an example
for lower level students. In addition, you will be assigned a topic to
research which will be relevant to the choral music being studied during
this semester. You will, after appropriate research, write the program
notes for the concert program as well as serve as an in-class resource
person for that particular topic. Your name will appear in the program
below those notes. The successful completion of this project will be the
basis for your grade.
Proper research requires thought, time, and hard work. Read as much as
possible about the subject (and take good notes). Bring things which you
do not understand to me for clarification (which assumes I can help -- not
always the case). Only after you fully comprehend the subject can you
begin to explain it in written form that others can understand.

The following things must be considered in order to successfully complete
your assignment.
I. Why does this music exist? What makes it worth our spending time on it?
A. Origin of the text (historical significance, context, author, etc.)
B. Origin of the music (why, when, by whom was the text set to music?).
C. Purpose of the composer/arranger for creating the music.
II. How should the audience listen to the music intelligently?
(What musical elements should be noticed for appreciative listening?)
A. Historical style elements.
B. Technical/compositional elements that enhance a non-musical factor
(such as text).
C. What makes this typical of its style?
D. What makes it unique?
E. Is it being performed as it was originally intended to be?
Why? Why not? How is it different?
III. If the music is a foreign language, provide a translation. This
should be as literal a translation as possible, not merely a singing
translation that may appear in the music.
IV. Finished product supplied to instructor in Microsoft Word or Word for
Windows format.

Computer Usage:
Use of Internet and other computer bibliographic research tools
Use of Microsoft Word word processor
Possible use of computer database for compilation of data

ABET category content: 1 humanities credit

Grading Policy
As stated above, you are, first of all, under the same ensemble
participation requirements as lower level students. Should you violate
attendance policies and be dismissed from the ensemble you will, of course,
receive a failing grade for the course, regardless of prior work.
You will be graded upon your finished product, which will be a result of
your research and writing; edited for use in the concert program. If
deemed acceptable by the established deadlines, it will be "A" work. With
each established deadline that is not met, the final grade will be lowered
by one letter grade. It behooves you to complete your work in advance of
the deadlines, especially, if you perceive that your writing may need
repeated revision. You are also responsible for proofreading your work in
the concert program drafts. Mistakes found in the program after printing
will be considered your error.

Schedule: (by the listed dates, the listed items will be completed)
January 20
Administrative matters
syllabus explanation, grading policy, ensemble responsibilities and
performance expectations
Assignment of topic, research begun
January 27
Office visits as necessary for elucidation or direction
February 10
Preliminary research and first office visit completed resulting in either
assignment of first draft attempt or further research efforts
February 24
All research completed and first drafts assigned
March 3
All first drafts completed
March 17
Second drafts completed, reviewed, returned by March 25
March 24
All assignments completed and turned in on floppy disk
April 7
Concert Program first draft proof returned to instructor
April 13
Concert Program second draft returned to instructor

The following list of reference sources is not meant to be complete or
conversely, required. Other or similar references may be more, or less,
helpful. The articles found in most encyclopedic references are meant to
steer the researcher toward other works which will have a deeper discussion
of the topic. Other excellent sources of information are professors in
those fields and the research librarians at Devereaux Library. Also, don't
overlook the resources of computer searches, either traditional or through

General Reference
Encyclopedia Britannica or similar general encyclopedia

Music Reference
Sadie, S. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 6th Ed.
Jeffers, R. Translations and annotations of Choral Repertoire, Vol.I
Randel, D. The New Harvard Dictionary of Music
Slonimsky, N. Bakers Biographical Dictionary of Music
Stolba, K. The Development of Western Music
Sadie, S. Brief Guide to Music
Kamien, R. Music: An Appreciation

Historical Reference
Durant, W. The Story of Civilization

English Reference
Drabble, M. Oxford Companion to English Literature, 5th Ed.