Jeffery Johnson

Jeffery Johnson

Course Syllabus

MUSIC 2 - Introduction to Music

Fall Semester - 2021-22

Semester Hours: 

Instructor: Jeff Johnson

Phone: (209) 928-4228 ext. 6269


Office Hours: As needed by arrangement

*** Please remember that masks are MANDATORY indoors and around campus. Please be kind and respectful to others and remember to cover your mouth and nose while wearing your mask.


This course is a survey of the many fields within the discipline of music, including a brief overview of tone production, music fundamentals, and the musical instruments used in a variety of different genres including orchestral music, jazz, rock, pop and electronic music. We will explore, through analytical listening, different music throughout a variety of periods including, Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Romantic and through the 20th and 21st centuries. We will also explore the science of acoustics and look at the psychology of music. In addition to in class lectures, students will also participate in online discussions, will watch and discuss selected videos and will attend selected local concerts and performances.


*** Please see the course outline for more detailed information.

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of musical instruments including knowledge of how sound is produced. This will include recognition of a variety of instruments of the orchestra (including the voice).

  2. Demonstrate correct use of musical terminology including melody, harmony, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre, to name a few. Additionally, students will be able to utilize appropriate vocabulary in their written assignments. 

  3. Identify important dates and trends throughout music history including Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras. Students should be able to recreate a timeline of trends. Students will also be able to identify different musical styles by listening to various musical examples.

  4. Identify the importance and place in history of a variety of composers including Bach, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.

  5. Demonstrate understanding of basic music theory including staff, clefs, leger lines, note/rest durations, pitch, and musical expression, dynamics and tempo.


WEEK 1 (8/26): Introduction/Course and syllabus review. Review course objectives

WEEKS 2 and 3 (8/30-9/10): Musical Instrument Families (Membranophones, Idiophones, Aerophones, Chordophones and the voice). Instruments of the orchestra/uses in contemporary music. History of the guitar 

Appalachian Dulcimer: 


Trinidad Steel Pan Drums: 

Overtone Singing: 

Tuvan Throat Singing:

Japanese Taiko Drums: 

 **Build your own instrument and present/perform. 


WEEKS 4 and 5 (9/14-9/24): Fundamentals of MUSIC THEORY and MUSIC ORGANIZATION (overview pitch/clefs/keyboard). Definitions of terms and working vocabulary. Introduction to basics of music organization (beat/time/rhythm/form). **GROOVE PIZZA

YOUTUBE LINKS: How to Read Music 

 Beginner Music Theory in 3 Minutes 

A Different Way To Visualize Rhythm 

WEEK 6 (9/28-10/1): The NATURE OF MUSIC, Willoughby Chapter 2 pgs. 19-39

Definitions of Music, Music as science, expressive and functional qualities of music, elements of music, elements of musical style. LISTENING EXAMPLES: 

  1. Sylvie, Huddie Ledbetter 

  2. Body and Soul Benny Goodman

  3. String Quartet, op. 33 no. 2, Franz Joseph Haydn

  4. Nkende yamuyayu

WEEKS 7, 8 and 9 (10/4-10/22): MUSIC HISTORY. We are taking it WAAAAY back!

An overview of music from ancient times to present. Willoughby Chapter 9 pgs.186-203 (Music to 1600), Chapter 10 pgs. 214-233 (Music of the Baroque Period), Chapter 11 pgs. 236-250 (Music of the Classical Period), Chapter 12 pgs. 254-269 (Music of the Romantic Period. What were some of the major trends from each period? Who were the notable composers from each time period? What were the major forms and genres of music from each period? How did music develop from pre-1600 to and through the 19th century? 


WEEK 10 (10/26-10/29): More Music THEORY review Discussion of intervals. Scales (Major/minor/pentatonic). (watch Bobby McFerrin’s amazing demonstration of the pentatonic scale. What makes MAJOR or MINOR? Relative vs. Parallel major/minor. What is a key signature? Circle of 5ths.  How does major/minor affect the mood/tone of a song? Discussion of Polyrhythms. **GROOVE PIZZA **INCREDIBOX 

WEEKS 11 and 12 (11/1-11/12): Fundamentals of Music Production. What is a DAW? How do you use knowledge of music basics to create a composition? GarageBand basics. How to use live loops. Setting up instrument tracks. Multi track recording. What things will impact a quality recording? 


WEEK 12 (11/9-11/12): MUSIC OF THE 20th CENTURY: Willoughby Chapter 13 pgs. 272-299. Impressionism, Experimental Music, Atonal Music and Serialism, Electronic Music, Chance Music, Nationalism. Exploration of the general characteristics and stylistic developments of each example. 

WEEK 13 (11/16-11/19): An exploration of AMERICAN MUSIC: Folk music, religious music traditions, Jazz styles, Popular Music. Willoughby Chapter 4 pgs. 58-70, Chapter 5 pgs. 75-97, Chapter 6 pgs. 102-128. What is improvisation and how is it used in different styles of American music? 

Appalachian Dulcimer:

WEEK 14 (11/29-12/3): An exploration of WORLD MUSIC: Willoughby Chapter 8 pgs. 152-181. What things characterize music from different parts of the world? What are the cultural and performance contexts in world music? What are common instrumental ensembles in the different regions of the world? How have cultures throughout the world used resources to create musical instruments? 



To take advantage of this opportunity, it is the students responsibility to:

  1. Attend and ACTIVELY participate in class. Students are expected to participate in discussions and activities.

  2. Come to class prepared, having read required materials and/or listened to assigned examples.

  3. Complete all assigned homework ON TIME. Late assignments will receive ZERO CREDIT. Late work will be accepted only in the case of authorized absence as pre-arranged.

  4. Demonstrate mastery of skills, vocabulary and concepts and pass quizzes and tests.

  5. Attend AT LEAST 2 performances during the semester and provide a concert write-up

  6. Make sure you have access to reliable internet to access a variety of online materials, websites, YouTube and other music streaming services.


The World of Music, 7th edition, David Willoughby

Various online resources and materials

Handouts as assigned by the instructor


  1. Examinations and Quizzes

  2. Research projects/papers and/or presentations

  3. Hands on demonstrations

  4. Group projects

  5. Listening Journals


Class grades will be be given using the following grading scale for papers, assignments, quizzes, reports and projects:

100%-90% - A, 89%-80% - B, 79%-70% - C, 69%-60% - D, 59% or below - F.

Additional Assessment Information

Semester grading will be based on the following:

  1. Class Participation, projects, listening journal and quizzes = 30%

  2. Online assignments = 30%

  3. Class Presentations = 20%

  4. Concert attendance/ concert writeup = 20%

TOTAL 100%