Music Appreciation – MUSC 103

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 05/26/2022

Course Description

An introduction to major musical styles (including representative composers and compositions) from Antiquity through the 21st century.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


MUSC 103 is an overview course that introduces students to the elements of music and the engagement of music in historical and global contexts. In this course, students will seek to understand music and its relationship to their lives and other cultures. They will study diverse music of both Western and non-Western traditions, including an introduction to a rudimentary familiarity with the Western art music (Classical) tradition. Additionally, students will cultivate active listening skills and practice using vocabulary and analytical tools necessary to articulate their musical perceptions.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Fulfill Liberty University’s Cultural Studies Elective
  2. Analyze notable works of music as forms of cultural and creative expression.
  3. Discuss global and cultural diversity exhibited by various types of traditional, non-Western music.
  4. Demonstrate musical sensitivity and aesthetic awareness.
  5. Exhibit a basic understanding of the elements of music.
  6. Express an appreciation beyond passive consumption for how music and culture engage each other.

General Education Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes (FSLOs):

Civic and Global Engagement (CGE)

  • CGE1: Identify the main features of a worldview, assessing the cultural, political, economic, and industrial implications.  
  • CGE2: Relate government and/or culture to various aspects of life.  
  • CGE3: Apply the Christian principles and general practices for effectively engaging people from different social and/or cultural backgrounds.  
  • CGE4: Describe the impact of a person’s global perspective on evangelism and cross-cultural engagement. 

Secondary Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes (FSLOs):

Communication and Information Literacy (CIL)

  • CIL 3: Analyze and assess various forms of information and expression to determine their meaning, employing technology when relevant.

Critical Thinking (CT)

  • CT 2: Structure an argument or position using credible evidence and valid reasoning. 

Social and Scientific Inquiry (SSI)

  • SSI 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of social and/or natural sciences on the world in which we live.

Course Assignment

Readings and lecture presentations/notes.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Listening Journal Assignments (4)

(CGE: 2; CIL 3; SSI 1)

Since this is a music course, you must dedicate time to listening! To really understand and explore the songs, you must listen multiple times to each song. Active listening takes time and cannot be rushed. Please find a quiet place without distractions and listen to the music actively. Oftentimes, we let music become the background for other activities; this is passive listening. In this course, you will need to focus closely on the music. A guide to active listening is posted on in Course Content, which will help you to focus on appropriate details needed to have success in the course (and to grow as a music lover!).

Each piece/song of music will demand anywhere from 10-30 minutes of active listening, depending on the genre (e.g. art music pieces may take longer than popular music songs).

Discussions (4)

(CGE: 1, 2, 3, 4; CIL 3; CT 2; SSI 1)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences; as such, you are required to create threads addressing to demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to your thread post(s), you are required to reply to posts by your classmates. 

Posts and replies must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the assigned due date, respectively, except for Module 8: Week 8, in which replies are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the assigned due date. You may post to all assignments as soon as the course opens; however, you must complete the lesson in the corresponding Module: Week prior to posting. Additionally, please do not expect others to post prior to the assigned week in order for you to satisfy your reply requirements. Discussion assignments are fundamentally interactive; therefore, no late posts or replies are permitted (i.e. no extensions or make-ups), as there is no way to recapture the lost experience of critical listening and interaction with your peers. Discussion grades are based on following instructions, satisfying the prompt criteria, and replying to multiple posts from other students. All submissions should be thorough and articulate, and demonstrate:

  • Understanding of the lesson’s concepts
  • Technical skills learned throughout the course to that point (e.g. terminology)
  • Respect for new ideas and perspectives from your classmates and/or the lesson(s): 
    • Grant those with whom you interact the benefit of the doubt. This does not mean you must or are expected to agree with everything said by your classmates or in the lesson; you are encouraged to mull and contemplate new concepts! However, your disagreement—and ensuing reply/replies—must be courteous. 
  • University-level writing and communication skills***
    • Spelling, grammar, and cohesiveness are part of this process. This is a chance to improve your expression in a professional, yet still conversational manner. 
    • ***Students with English deficiencies should notify the instructor by the end of Module 1: Week 1.

Quizzes (4)

(CGE: 1, 2; CIL 3; SSI 1)

Quiz: Knowledge of Core Assignments is an assessment of the attention given to the course documents; Quiz: Music of Small—scale Societies is an assessment of the first two modules; Quiz: The Common Practice Period and Quiz: Twentieth Century are assessments of everything you’ve studied since the previous quiz. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice, true/false, and multiple answer questions, and have a time limit. You may retake each quiz twice (i.e., three total attempts) to obtain the highest grade possible.

Research Project Assignments (3)

(CGE: 1, 2; CIL 3; CT 2; SSI 1)

Research Project: Topic Approval Assignment

The student will submit a topic selection for approval.

Research Project: Presentation Assignment

Each student will select a significant musician or band/group not covered in the course and construct a video presentation (PowerPoint/Keynote/QuickTime, etc.).

Peer-Review Discussion: Research Project

Students will post their final project as their thread, and then will choose two of their peers’ projects to review.