Musica Practica


Name: Brian Hyer
SCID: School of Education
Department: Music
Course Name: Musica PracticaCourse Objectives:

  • CO1: develop the skills musicians need to function successfully as listeners, performers, composers, and teachers.
  • CO2: learn to read music fluently and spontaneously, and to become aware of the many different kinds and levels of abilities that doing so requires.
  • CO3: to use the basic principles of harmony and counterpoint to compose, combine, and harmonize melodies, and to understand how phrases are arranged and organized into complete pieces.
  • CO4: improve listening skills, primarily through singing, with the aim of being able to hear what notated music sounds like “in our heads,” even in the absence of an actual acoustical signal.
  • CO5: to be able to read a score with as much understanding and pleasure as one might a poem, essay, or short story.

Course Units:

Fall Semester: Musica Practica 1

  • CU1: Singing (two weeks)
  • CU2: Species Counterpoint (six weeks)
  • CU3: Harmony and Voice Leading (four weeks)
  • CU4: Periods (three weeks)

Spring Semester: Musica Practica 2

  • CU5: Sentences (three weeks)
  • CU6: Complete Compositions (three weeks)
  • CU7: Hypermeter (four weeks)
  • CU8: Narrative (three weeks)

Unit Objectives:

  • UO1: draw on our growing understanding of harmony, melody, and phrasing to devise aural and visual maps of short, two-part pieces, 16 to 32 measures in length.
  • UO2: become proficient at determining where phrases begin and end, where cadences (musical punctuation) occur, and distinguishing between different cadence types.
  • UO3: frame the organization of a complete piece (a “com|position,” or “putting together” of phrases) in terms of a prose paragraph.
  • UO4: compose “species diagrams” (continuity outlines of the bass and soprano) to represent entire compositions as harmonic progressions “writ large.”
  • UO5: use a three-step model to model modulation from I to III in minor and from I to V in major in the context of score-reading and listening exercises.

Activity One

Activity: Cadence List
Description:Students are to list all the cadences in the Minuet from the Bach C minor French Suite.Modality: online (MP3 file)
Activity Sequence: Pre-class assignment, due in section on Monday.
Required Knowledge: Prior experience composing antecedent/consequent periods, locating and identifying half and full cadences, both in scores and aurally, in the context of listening exercises.
Time on Task: 30 minutes.
Objectives Supported: UO1, U02
Horton Type: do
Bloom’s Level: remember (recognize), understand (identify)
Evidence: grade, in-section discussion (see A2 below)
Pedagogical Role: Help students gather information to understanding organization of a complete piece.
Social Role:
Managerial Role:
Technical Role:

Activity Two

Activity: How do you know a cadence when you hear one?
Description:Working in small groups, students are to collate their findings from the pre-class assignment (see A1 above) and determine whether any of the results are unclear or ambiguous.Modality: face-to-face
Activity Sequence: In-class discussion and listening exercise, to be done in section on Monday as a follow up to A1.
Required Knowledg: Experience locating and identifying cadences.
Time on Task: 20 minutes
Objectives Supported: U01, U02
Horton Type: do
Bloom’s Level: understand (report, discuss), analyze (compare, organize)
Evidence: ability to weigh evidence and make decisions
Pedagogical Role: Help students to isolate and identify aural cues for distinguishing between full and half cadences “by ear,” without the use of a score.
Social Role:
Managerial Role:
Technical Role:

Activity Three

Description:In organizing the data gathered in A1 and A2, students will have come to the realization that pieces “modulate” — change keys. The purpose of A3 will be to formulate modulation as a three-step process.Modality: face-to-face
Activity Sequence: In-class discussion and demonstration, to be done in lecture on Tuesday as a further continuation/development of A1 and A2.
Required Knowledge: Knowledge of where cadences occur in the C minor Minuet.
Time on Task: 50 minutes
Objectives Supported: UO1, U02, UO3, U05
Horton Type: connect, absorb
Bloom’s Level: analyze, create (formulate), apply (demonstrate), explain
Evidence: multiple post-class assignments (graded) and in-class activities (ungraded)
Pedagogical Role: Help the students formulate the three-step model and guide reinforcement through demonstration and further practice.
Social Role:
Managerial Role:
Technical Role:

Activity Four

Activity: Transcription
Description:Students will listen to and transcribe eight measures that modulate from I to III in minor and aurally identify each step in the three-step model.Modality: face to face
Activity Sequence: In-class listening exercise and discussion, to be done in section on Wednesday as a follow up to A3.
Required Knowledge: Ability to recall, explain, and apply the three-step model for modulation from I to III in minor presented in lecture (as A3) the day before.
Time on Task: 25 minutes
Objectives Supported: UO5
Horton Type: do, connect
Bloom’s Level: remember (recall, reproduce), understand (locate), evaluate (weigh evidence)
Evidence: ability to complete the transcription
Pedagogical Role: Highlight each of the three steps in the three-step model in the context of a listening exercise.
Social Role:
Managerial Role:
Technical Role:

Activity Five

Activity: Com|position
Description:As a continuation of A3, students will come to recognize that, like a prose paragraph, the C minor minuet begins with a proposition or topic sentence, continues with sentence-like combinations of phrases that paraphrase and elaborate the basic idea before rounding off with an effective conclusion. Working in small groups, students will outline the organization of a prose paragraph; after reviewing the results, the entire class will then map that organization onto the C minor Minuet.Modality: face to face
Activity Sequence: Small and large-group discussion in lecture on Thursday.
Required Knowledge: Prior, high-school level knowledge of the principal conventions for organizing prose into a paragraph.
Time on Task: 50 minutes
Objectives Supported: UO1, U02, UO3, U05
Horton Type: absorb, do, connect (big time)
Bloom’s Level: analyze (organize, attribute, compare, outline)
Evidence: graded post-class assignment (see A6 below)
Pedagogical Role: Help students coordinate a prose-paragraph outline of the Minuet with a harmonic outline of the piece.
Social Role:
Managerial Role:
Technical Role:

Leave a Reply