Music History Class


DSA High School music students participate in a Music Theory/History program each year.  These academic courses prepare our students for advanced study at the college level. 


As musicians we encounter various genres of music.  In order to fully understand and to better perform music in the various genres, it is essential to understand the personality of each composer and the environment in which he or she worked.  Much of the music in our world today is patterned after the work of these composers, and as musicians, we can better understand this music with our knowledge of Music History.

Music History is in many ways the same as, but in other ways different from standard History courses.  In Music History, we are interested in the lives of composers because of the music they created.  Similarly, we study the lives of significant political figures because of their accomplishments.  Music history, however, is a more personal study.  We investigate how musicians interacted with those around them as they created their music.  Possibly, the most important and delightful difference is that we are learning about the art we love and about people whose goal was to entertain and to enlighten.


There are several components to success in the Music History Class:

1.  Students are required to keep detailed notes of classroom lectures and will turn them in for a grade at the end of the semester (approximately 30% of the final grade).

2.  Students are required to complete four exams (approximately 60% of the final grade).  Students may use their handwritten notes as source material for the exam questions.

3.  Students are required to complete a 500-word informal term paper (10% of the final grade).  The student must use at least three sources, which include two reference book sources and one or more internet sources.  These sources are required to be cited in a bibliography at the end of the paper.  There will be a significant reduction in the grade of papers with no bibliography or with less than two book sources.

Students are required to be attentive during classroom lectures, to attempt to ask and answer questions, and to treat the teacher and fellow students with kindness and respect.  Students are required to make up missed work in a timely manner.  No electronic devices are to be seen or heard in this classroom.