Honors 308        Aesthetics of Music       Fall 2004
MWF 1:00 p.m.  MacLean 272

Instructor: Theodore Gracyk    [for email link, click here]
477-4089      Office: Bridges Hall 359B

Web: http://web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/ 
Office Hours: MWF 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.   TH Noon - 3 p.m. & by appointment

Official course description: (Liberal Studies D, 3 credits) The course examines philosophical issues relating to music's status as art and as an expression of human experience. Major emphasis is on critical reflection of modern assumptions about the meaning and value of music. No specialized knowledge of music is required.

Liberal Studies Objectives for this course

Students will discuss and write in an informed manner about the development of western culture by focusing on assumptions about music, particularly assumptions positioning some music as a fine art. Students will discuss and write in an informed manner about the ways in which major intellectual movements have informed these assumptions. Students will also analyze and evaluate creative works.

Required Books (available in the MSUM bookstore)


Your grade will be based on four components:
Weekly homework 25% Each will be a short piece of writing.
First exam or short paper 25%
Second exam or short paper 25%
Final exam 25% (Scheduled for noon on Monday, Dec. 13)

The first and second exams are take-home essays. They must be typed or word-processed. The final exam is in-class, but you may use your books and notes. Homework will be assigned in class (and posted on the web) once a week.


There is no attendance policy. I will not take attendance. However, your failure to attend class will almost certainly reduce your comprehension of the course content and will be reflected in a low course grade.

General policies

Late work will not receive a grade higher than C. Work is not late if you request and receive an extension on the due date. To get an extension, you must speak to me (or email me) at least one class session before the work is due.

Notice of disability services 

The Minnesota State University of Moorhead is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in education and employment and welcomes students with disabilities. We are prepared to to offer you a range of services to accommodate your needs.

However, students must accept responsibility for initiating the request for services. 

This can only be done by contacting:
Greg Toutges, Director of Disability Services 
Bridges Hall, 2nd floor 
Telephone: 299-5859 

Do not discuss your needs with me, your instructor. Talk to Greg and he will contact me.

Reading Assignments

You are expected to have read the assignments before class on the date listed below.

Wednesday,  Kivy, chapter 1 and Hanslick, Foreword and chapter I
Monday, Aug 30 Hanslick, chapter II
Wednesday, Sept. 1 Hanslick, Chapters III, IV, V
Monday, Sept 6 LABOR DAY -- No class
Wednesday,  Sept. 8 Hanslick, Chapters VI and VII
Monday, Sept. 13 Kivy, Chapter 3
Wednesday, Sept. 15 Kivy, Chapter 5 
Friday, Sept. 17 Kivy, Chapter 6
Monday,  Sept. 20 Kivy, Chapter 7
Wednesday, Sept. 22  Kivy, Chapter 8
Friday, Sept. 24 Kivy, Chapter 9
Monday, Sept. 27 Kivy, Chapter 10
Wednesday, Sept. 29  Kivy, Chapter 11
Friday,  Oct. 1 Kivy, Chapter 12
Monday, Oct. 4 Kivy, Chapter 13
Wednesday, Oct. 6 Gioia, I, II, III
Wednesday, Oct. 13 Gioia, IV, V, VI, VII
Friday, Oct. 15 FALL "BREATHER" -- NO CLASS
Monday, Nov. 1 Attali, First two chapters (skip the foreword)
Monday, Nov. 8 Attali, Chapter 3
Monday, Nov. 15 Attali, Chapters 4 and 5
Wednesday, Nov. 24
Friday, Nov. 26 
Monday, Nov. 29 Gracyk on Classical and Popular 
Gracyk on live music and recordings 
Monday, Dec. 13 12 noon: Final Exam


Plagiarism is passing off somebody else's writing or ideas as your own. There is nothing wrong in consulting any number of sources to help you understand what we are studying (whether an article in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy or a web site or Cliffs Notes) but it is stealing to take material without first paraphrasing it completely into your own words, or without placing it in quotation marks. (Rule of thumb: if you take more than two consecutive words from a source, put them in quotation marks, and if the idea behind a sentence comes from an outside source, acknowledge that source!) Any time you consult and draw on ideas from any source, you should cite your source. Taking ideas from another person and pretending that they are your own, original thoughts, is also plagiarism. The fact that your source was an assigned text for the course does not mitigate or lessen the seriousness of plagiarism.

Students sometimes claim unintentional or accidental plagiarism. It is difficult for an instructor to judge whether the plagiarism was intentional or unintentional. Basically, the latter occurs when a student reads a secondary source or takes notes, writes a paper without looking at the source or the notes, and accidentally uses phrasing and ideas from that source. Or a student may attempt to paraphrase an author's ideas, but fails to put it completely into his or her own words. (If you paraphrase and don't cite your source, that's evidence of intentional plagiarism.)

If evidence demonstrates that you have plagiarized any part of any written assignment for the course, the offense will be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs and you will receive a failing grade for the course.

In short, if you use an outside source, simply provide footnotes or citations in parentheses where appropriate.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE 


Grade of "A": An excellent essay in all respects. Clear, grammatical, well organized, and progresses logically, with all elements relevant to the topic. Exhibits both original thought and an accurate grasp of the material. Grammatical errors kept to a minimum.

Grade of "B": A good essay, but not outstanding. Overall organization is clear and coherent, although minor weaknesses may be present. Accurate presentation of material, but generally presents the minimum needed. Limited original thought. A few minor or subtle errors in punctuation and/or spelling.

Grade of "C": A satisfactory paper. Shows basic understanding, with some deficiencies. Organization not always clear and transitions abrupt or lacking. May contain irrelevant material. Weak support of ideas. Occasional grammatical mistakes, or sloppiness which could have been avoided.

Grade of "D": Minimally acceptable work. Marginal grasp of material, ineffective or confusing presentation. Summarizes the most obvious aspects of the material, but otherwise tends to be irrelevant. Little or no organization. Contains major grammatical problems.

Grade of "F": Unsatisfactory. Superficial, incoherent, and/or irrelevant. Writing ability verges on illiteracy. Plagiarism.

 Last updated November 5, 2004