This page presents detailed information about the assignments, including links to examples of student work.

Concert Reports

Students are required to attend at least two concerts and submit a paragraph about something you liked or didn't.


Worksheet 1: Intervals and Functions - Webern's Fünf Sätze (PDF)

Worksheet 2: Twelve-tone Row Worksheet (PDF)


Each student will to a short presentation in class on a work of their choice. Each presentation will aim for 25 minutes with a 30 minute cap. This time includes discussion and playing any excerpts of the work.


  • Prepare and distribute a handout.
  • You will probably want to read an analysis of the piece, and lead the class through the analysis.
  • Include biographical information as relevant to the class.
  • Consider how this composer is different from others we have studied.
  • Prepare discussion questions - ones that YOU think are interesting.
  • 90% of people will find 25 minutes too short, not too long, so don't worry about filling the time.

First Paper: Wikipedia

This assignment involves creating or substantially revising a Wikipedia article on music from this period.

Examples of Student Work

Antheil, George. Ballet Mécanique.

Barber, Samuel. Knoxville: Summer of 1915.

Bartok, Bela. Piano Concerto No. 3.

Beach, Amy. Mass in E Flat Major.

Ives, Charles. Three Places in New England.

Seeger, Ruth Crawford. Chinaman, Laundryman.

Final Paper

The final paper is due in Lec #10, and counts for 20% of the total course grade. It should be 5-7 pages long - no longer than 10 pages in any circumstance.

In this paper, you will critically explore composer's choices of style. Why do they claim that they compose in the style they compose in? Can you see/hear their reasoning in their music? What do they say about composers who make different stylistic choices than their own? Are their criticisms valid?

Investigate these and other questions of style by critically examining the statements and music of at least three composers discussed in this course. The composers must represent at least two competing aesthetic camps (one must benon-tonal, one must be tonal). At least one composer's works must come after WWII. You will want a mix of original musical analysis (with specific musical examples which support your argument) and secondary research on the composer's thoughts.

Obviously, your musical tastes will shine through in your paper. However, it is important to consider both (all?) sides of the musical arguments critically and sympathetically. That is to say, both sides should get both a fair hearing of their view sand sharp questioning. Overly pampering one side or the other will not result in a good paper.