Changing the Stories We Tell: Repertoires, Narratives, Materials, Goals, and Strategies in Teaching Music History

October 1, 2009

As The College Music Society reaches its fiftieth anniversary, it is fitting that we look back on developments in college music teaching over its first fifty years. In the teaching of music history, I see five major areas of change during that time: repertoires, narratives, materials, goals, and strategies. These are all interrelated, so my discussion of each will necessarily overlap with others. Each merits much more space than I have, so I will only be able to touch on a few aspects of each, speaking primarily from my own experience.



The first great change over the last fifty years lies in the widening and deepening of the repertoires that we can examine. There is much more music available for inclusion in music history classes.

Of course, there are fifty years more of music history to cover. A teacher in 1957 did not have to make time for minimalism and its offshoots; neoromanticism; environmental music; or composers from Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, and Sofia Gubaidulina to Toru Takemitsu, Tan Dun, and Bright Sheng to Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Joan Tower, and Libby Larsen.

There is also much more music available from the entire sweep of history, in editions and recordings made over the last half century. In medieval music, for instance, there are now terrific recordings of many different chant repertoires from Byzantine to Gregorian; of songs of the troubadours, trouvères, and Minnesingers, as well as Spanish cantigas and Italian laudas; of dance music for ensemble or keyboard; of early polyphony from Chartres, Aquitaine, England, and of course Notre Dame; of motets from Paris, England, Italy, Cyprus, and elsewhere; of polyphonic songs by Machaut, Landini, Ciconia, and many others; and of the rhythmically astounding music of the Ars Subtilior. These are first-rate recordings, which undergraduates find appealing, made by groups such as Sequentia, Anonymous 4, Project Ars Nova, Gothic Voices, Lionheart, the Hilliard Ensemble, the Orlando Consort, the Dufay Project, the Martin Best Ensemble, the Newberry Consort, Chanticleer, Liber unUsualis, Altramar, and many more.

And it is not just early music. The music of composers who were just names fifty years ago, such as Joachim Raff, Charles Alkan, or Louis Moreau Gottschalk, is now available in excellent recordings. Hundreds of others, from Hildegard of Bingen to Leo Ornstein, were not even mentioned half a century ago but have been resurrected in fine editions, performances, and recordings. The attempt to discover the truth about what women actually did in music, including composition, has brought forth countless names—beginning with Enheduanna, high priestess at Ur around 2300 BC, who is the earliest composer of either sex known to us by name. There are now many editions, performances, and recordings of music by women, from Hildegard and Comtessa de Dia through Ruth Crawford and Pauline Oliveros. Musicologists and performers have been very busy, finding enormous amounts of new music—that is, music new to us—in the archives of the past.

Some of the expansion has been regional. We knew about Glinka and Musorgsky, and about the music of the Russian Orthodox Church, but in the last fifty years we have learned about Russian music in salons and concert halls beginning in the seventeenth century. We knew about Villa-Lobos, Chávez, and Ginastera, but Robert Stevenson and others working since the 1950s have unearthed great quantities of music from Latin America from the sixteenth century on, including masses, motets, operas, orchestral music, and the entire range of European forms. The history of Western music is now more broadly international than ever, encompassing the activities of musicians across Europe from Russia to Spain and of musicians all over the world who draw on European traditions, from Canada to Chile, and from South Africa to Japan.

But that is not the only way the repertoire has been expanding. Very familiar music that we would never have considered including in our music history courses is now widely accepted as an integral part of the music history curriculum. Elvis Presley, for instance, and popular music in general. Music for film, now recognized as one of the major fields of composition since the early twentieth century, absorbing such talents as Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Music for band and wind ensemble, a strong tradition that attracts countless students and amateurs alongside professional ensembles. Broadway musicals. Jazz. All of these are repertoires that had a major impact in the twentieth century, in most cases reaching more people than music by Schoenberg or Stockhausen, for example, that we have tended to focus on in our courses. And their exclusion from our courses has made less and less sense as we look back on music history and realize that we include popular music, functional music, and amateur music of earlier times, from sixteenth-century madrigals to Bach cantatas to keyboard suites and sonatas.



How do we fit all of this music into our classes? That brings me to the second area of change: narratives, the stories we tell that string together the music we treat in our courses into a coherent unit. The expansion of repertoires has forced us to rethink our narratives of music history. The old, old story, if I may call it that, was told by music historians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and it centered on the development of styles and genres and the progress of musical techniques from primitive to highly evolved forms. First and foremost, it was a narrative about great composers, with anonymous and minor figures finding a place because of their contribution to the development of methods and materials used by the greats.

But the increasing availability of such a wide variety of music from the past makes it possible, and even urgent, to tell different narratives. It has never been true that we could include everything, but there must be ways to encompass a wider range of representative pieces and traditions. I remember confronting the problem of narrative in my first year of teaching over twenty-five years ago, when I taught my first course on music in the twentieth century. The standard narrative of twentieth-century music that I had learned focused on innovations and left everyone else out—what Richard Taruskin would later dub the “race-to-the-patent-office” view of history.1 I could see that there was much music in the repertoire that was not included in this narrative. For example, the textbook used in my college and graduate school courses on twentieth-century music, Eric Salzman’s Twentieth-Century Music: An Introduction, dismissed Rachmaninov in half a sentence, although his music formed a major part of the concert repertoire and the great majority of it was written in the twentieth century.2 Pretending that he belonged to an earlier age was historically inaccurate. Other tonal composers, from Sibelius to Barber, received little or no attention. I needed another narrative thread, one that could include the modernists but not focus solely on them, and into which almost all of the century’s major composers from Schoenberg to Rachmaninov could fit.

So I organized my classes on twentieth-century music around the idea that composers in the twentieth century were competing with the music of the past. Before the mid-nineteenth century, composers essentially competed with each other for performances, positions, attention, and funding. But during the nineteenth century there developed a repertoire of musical classics that became the center of musical life in the concert hall and opera house.3 Composers in the twentieth century had to compete with the classics. In order to find a place in the museum of classical music, which is what the concert hall had become, most composers sought to write museum pieces themselves, pieces that simultaneously claimed a place in the classical tradition by emulating the classics of the past in various ways and yet also introduced something new and original. Such composers formed the mainstream of art music in the twentieth century, wide enough to embrace Rachmaninov and Schoenberg alike and to explain how those two, plus Vaughan Williams, Scriabin, Ives, Ravel, and others born within only a few years of each other, could have written such different kinds of music in the same historical era, each drawing on a different set of ideas and methods from the past and introducing new elements in highly individual ways. This narrative also acknowledges two other streams running alongside this mainstream: the avant-garde, which seeks to overthrow the whole museum idea, and the experimental, which tries out the new for its own sake—and of course, both of these streams are also reacting to the past in different ways. Finally, all three streams tend to blend after World War II as conditions in concert life change. Thus I organized the narrative for my course not around who did what first (though that can still play a role) but around what composers conceived was the function of their music and how they sought to meet the challenges they faced.

I worked up this narrative as my first lecture for my first twentieth-century music course, and it became my first published article in 1983.4 This approach allowed me to include Rachmaninov and Sibelius alongside Schoenberg and Ives, to discuss Strauss’s Four Last Songs as a work of the 1940s alongside electronic music and total serialism, and to embrace the entire range of music written for the concert hall.

But even that was not enough, as I learned from my students. Some of my students began to ask, where is the band music? These were wind and brass players who spent much of their time playing in bands and wind ensembles, and their music was not represented in my course. My first response was that I was a musicologist, and musicologists were a wholly owned subsidiary of the orchestras, opera houses, and string quartets, which got a laugh—but each year students asked the same question. Other students asked, where is the jazz?

Now when I teach the course, I still focus the principal narrative on music in and around the classical repertoire, in large part because I teach in a school of music where that repertoire is central. But I include three weeks of student group presentations, during which each group of students takes over an entire class session to present on jazz, band music, choral music, Broadway musicals, rock music, film music, or other repertoires that tend to be ignored or underplayed in courses on twentieth-century music. The surprising result is that, having learned to think about the formation of a classical repertoire and the subsequent need to compete with those undying classics, my students often find the same dynamic going on in jazz, musicals, or rock music, only at a much faster pace of historical development because of the existence of recordings. We end up seeing that all these repertoires have common elements, whether resulting from common origins, from cross-influences, or from a similar historical dynamic. The evolution of music turns out not to be a single line of development but something like a bush, with constant branching, overlapping, and mutual influence.

This is only one personal example, but teachers over the past fifty years have been developing many new narratives to present music history. If we want to include not just male composers, but women, we are forced to consider the history of gender roles, the restrictions placed on women as musicians and composers, and the functions of music in respect to gender, such as the focus in the nineteenth century on women playing the piano as a social attainment. If we are concerned about how to perform the music of the past, we must include a study of performance practice, asking how we can know how music was performed and how we can gather evidence to decide such questions. If we want to really understand the history of music as an integral whole, we have to consider the roles not just of composers and composition, but also of performers, improvisers, teachers, listeners, patrons, and institutions. Doing this naturally affects the stories we tell about composers as well. The history of polyphony in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, for instance, has far more to do with improvisation and memory than we realized fifty years ago, and our history has to take that into account, so that we do not pretend that the written traces we have of that mostly oral tradition show us a history of written composition.5



This consideration of narratives overlaps with the third area of change: teaching materials, by which I mean everything from textbooks to websites to technology in the classroom. Textbooks have had to adapt in order to deal with the growing breadth of repertoires and the need for new narratives. At the same time, publishers have offered more and more ancillary material to accompany their textbooks, in order to make them more useful for students. The evolution of one well-known textbook will offer an illustration.

Donald Jay Grout’s A History of Western Music was first published in 1960 and soon became a landmark.6 It was a relatively brief but comprehensive survey of music from ancient Greece through the mid-twentieth century, and it met the needs of teachers and students so well that it became the dominant textbook for decades.

As the repertoires teachers wanted to include expanded, so did the coverage in this book. In the second edition of 1973, Grout added a closing section on music after 1950, with a focus on total serialism, electronic music, and the avant-garde.7 The fourth edition of 1988, prepared by Claude Palisca, added discussions of music after 1970, including minimalism.8 In the fifth edition of 1996, Palisca provided more coverage of music by women composers and added a chapter at the end focused on music in the United States, including—for the first time—some coverage of jazz and popular music.9

Despite these changes, when I took over the book for its seventh edition, released in 2005, I felt that the coverage had become old-fashioned and out of touch with how many of my colleagues were teaching music history. Palisca gave Latin American music a single paragraph on twentieth-century composers, and jazz and popular music received only seven pages.10 This made it seem as if these musical traditions have nothing to do with European classical music, when in fact there are close family relationships between them. So in the seventh edition, I integrated Latin American, Canadian, American, and popular music throughout the book from the sixteenth century on, wherever relevant. The discussion of the use of music in the sixteenth-century Counter-Reformation includes Catholic missionaries and cathedral musicians in the Spanish New World colonies; the section on vocal and instrumental music in seventeenth-century England includes a paragraph on the popular songs and dance tunes in John Playford’s The English Dancing Master, one of the best-selling publications in the Baroque era; the discussion of Romantic song as a genre for home performance includes the American Stephen Foster and the Canadian James P. Clarke; the chapters on opera in the nineteenth century also mention popular forms of music theater, from operetta to minstrel shows, cabarets, and vaudeville, covering not only Vienna and Paris but also New York and Brazil. This makes it easy and historically more convincing to include popular music and jazz and composers in the Americas in the twentieth century, for they have been part of the story all along.11 Moreover, including music of the Americas, popular music, and jazz in the story makes it easier to trace the ways these musical traditions have influenced classical music, from the importation of the sarabande and chaconne from Latin America into Europe around 1600 to the influence of jazz, popular music, and film music on twentieth-century composers. The latter aspect is enhanced in the eighth edition, published in 2009, which includes works such as Milhaud’s jazz-influenced La création du monde, Prokofiev’s film music for Alexander Nevsky, and Michael Daugherty’s take on a pop music icon in Dead Elvis.12

This question of repertoire in the textbook raises the related question of narratives. In the preface to his first edition, Grout wrote that “the history of music is primarily the history of musical style,” words repeated by Palisca in his preface as late as the fourth edition.13 But style does not develop in a vacuum. And casting music as the central character of the narrative makes it seem as if it is evolving of its own will, virtually independent of the humans who make and hear it. So, while continuing the focus on musical styles and genres that characterized Grout’s original, I cast my narrative in the seventh edition around four central themes:

the people who created, performed, heard, and paid for this music;
the choices they made and why they made them;
what they valued most in the music; and
how these choices reflected both tradition and innovation.14

Thus I strove to show that the development of music was driven by people, who preferred certain approaches or pieces over others because of what they valued in music. Of course composers are an important part of this story, but so are performers, patrons, and audiences. If there is evolution in musical style, it happens because people are selecting some ideas or methods or works in preference to others, in a continual interaction between maintaining what is traditional and modifying it with new ideas. Such an approach to the history of music makes it far easier to encompass the whole range of musical types, styles, genres, and traditions at play in any historical period—and, frankly, makes it more fun to teach.

In a similar way, of course, the choices faculty members make in choosing materials for their courses influence the evolution of textbooks, as publishers seek to meet the desires of their users. Thus Grout’s original text has evolved into an entire suite of materials. For the third edition of 1980, Claude Palisca edited an accompanying anthology, the Norton Anthology of Western Music, containing 158 pieces or excerpts chosen to serve as illustrations. He inserted brief discussions of these pieces into the text, replacing to some extent the discussion of pieces from earlier anthologies.15 A set of recordings made the Norton Anthology even more useful. In the fourth edition of 1988, Palisca expanded the discussions of the individual works in the anthology in sidebars and also added short excerpts from primary sources. For the fifth edition of 1996, I was asked to create a study guide with chapter outlines, study questions, and other helpful features.16 The sixth edition of 2001 added to all of this various computer resources, including interactive listening guides and a website with online chapter outlines, quizzes, and listening activities.

The seventh edition added sidebars for composer biographies, discussions of music in context, and explorations of particularly significant social or technological innovations that affected music. The anthology features more pieces and longer commentaries that describe each piece’s origins, provide an extensive analysis, and include issues related to editions and to performance.17 In addition, the online tutor and electronic listening guides have been expanded, an online listening lab for students has been added, a further set of pieces is available online, and the Norton Media Library is a new resource for instructors, a CD-ROM containing digital art, photographs, interactive media, and PowerPoint presentations for lectures.18

The expansion of the textbook into a suite of media is a microcosm of the changing technology of our classrooms from chalk boards to computers and video projectors, and ultimately of the expansion of our teaching beyond classrooms to websites, online discussion groups, blogs, and YouTube. The choices we have, and the pace of change, can seem overwhelming.



This brings me to the fourth area of change: goals. What do we want to accomplish in our music history classes? All of the changes in repertoires, narratives, and materials present so many new possibilities that we may be led to rethink what we are trying to achieve.

Fifty years ago, there was a widely shared consensus that musicians and music-lovers should know a certain body of music and that our job was to make sure that our students learned it. Music theory classes focused on the methods and procedures behind this music, and music history classes focused on the history behind it and on understanding the pieces themselves. I remember as recently as the early 1980s lists of the hundred or so works that music majors graduating from certain colleges were expected to know and be able to recognize and discuss. Today we would not find such a wide consensus. Some still see developing knowledge of such a canon as part of our job. But others emphasize other goals, in addition or instead.

Some instructors focus on teaching how to think in historical terms: what historical problems are, how evidence can be found and used, how historical questions affect music in performance, and so on. In that spirit, borrowing ideas from my colleague Thomas J. Mathiesen, I made the first chapter in A History of Western Music into a lesson in historiography.19 How can we know about any musical culture of the past? We have four types of evidence: physical remains; images; writings about music; and music itself. The earliest traces we have are surviving musical instruments, the oldest a bone flute dating back before 36,000 BC. We cannot know how music was used until we see images of it, in paintings and sculpture. Pictures and instruments tell us a great deal, but we learn even more from written sources, which begin with Sumerian culture around 3,000 BC. And it is only with ancient Greece that we begin to have music in a notation we can reliably decipher. Applying the lessons of this first chapter throughout the course reminds students that history did not just happen; it has to be reconstructed by us, we who are the storytellers, and that they can be storytellers too.

In my own undergraduate music history survey, I state the overall goal this way in the syllabus:

The goal of the class is to enrich your experience of and knowledge about music in the European and American tradition by exploring the music of the past and the circumstances and values of the cultures that produced it. By understanding music in its historical context and learning about its inherent value within a certain culture and time, you will become more sensitive to its meanings and to how to interpret it and perform it.

Recognizing that such a fuzzy goal is laudable but not testable, I translate this into a list of specific testable objectives, centering on students’ ability to deal with music they are encountering for the first time and to place it in the historical framework they have learned.20

There are many other possible goals for music history courses. One sign of change in music history teaching in recent years is the appearance of the first book devoted to the subject, Teaching Music History, edited by Mary Natvig.21 Several of the essays address goals. Noting that “a music history course is one means of passing on musical culture,” Patrick Macey lays out goals for his survey of music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance that include highlighting the social contexts for music-making and asking students to perform the music themselves. Ralph Locke sets out as one goal of his Classic/Romantic survey “to problematize (which means, to some extent, historicize) the musical masterwork by revealing the conflicts of its own day that it embodies— . . . by confronting the masterwork with other musics that it either resembles (and perhaps influenced or was influenced by) or strikingly differs from.” Robert Fink suggests that the goal of teaching twentieth-century art music should not be to convey the traditional narrative of modernism but to critique it and, indeed, narratives in general, engaging students “as players, not just spectators, in the ongoing game of telling stories about the past.”22 These only begin to suggest the variety of goals teachers now have for their music history classes.



The last area of change in music history teaching is strategies, by which I mean the methods we use to help students learn what we want to teach them. Fifty years ago the mainstay of music history teaching was the lecture. It turns out that the lecture—particularly if one does nothing else day after day besides lecturing—is not a great way to convey information. People learn at different paces and in different styles, and it is hard to accommodate all the diverse ways your students learn in a lecture. Moreover, people learn best by doing, not just by listening. Various attempts have been made to deal with this. I will discuss just a few.

Beginning in 1965, the “Comprehensive Musicianship” movement sought to bring together music history with music theory, composition, and performance into integrated courses, with the idea that if one studies the theory, history, and music of a time period in tandem and performs and composes music in styles of the time, one is more likely to learn how music of that period works and where it came from and is more likely to retain all that information.23 I still think this is one of the best ideas out there. I went through such a course of study at Earlham College in the 1970s, where, for example, we studied Baroque counterpoint in the mornings and Baroque music history in the afternoons, listened to major works of the period, composed small pieces in Baroque styles, and on alternate days rehearsed and performed music like the music we were studying in theory and history. The stuff we studied still sticks.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the “Writing Across the Curriculum” movement introduced the idea of using writing to teach content in any subject, from history to math.24 After learning about these ideas in a workshop, I began to use them in my own teaching. Here are three, briefly:

  1. In-class writing. Pose a question—for instance, what elements in this piece by Schoenberg draw on eighteenth-century models?—and ask each student to write for two minutes, coming up with as long a list as they can. Then have a discussion. You can now call on anybody in the room, whether they volunteer or not, knowing that they are ready to say something, because they have written something down. Or, have them share their ideas with one or two partners and then report to the class. This is a great way to make everyone work, and to get even the shyest students to participate. It can work well in large lectures as well as in small classes.
  2. Abstracts. If you assign a reading and want to discuss it in class, have everyone write and bring to class a brief abstract which summarizes the article’s main point in a single sentence and summarizes its argument in four or five sentences. Then in class get them into groups of three or four students and ask each group to come to consensus about what the main point of the article is and how to summarize the argument, and also to consider whether they are convinced by the argument and what counter-arguments they might raise. Then have each group report, and the class as a whole can discuss. It is a very efficient way to get deep into the content of the readings and into lively discussions of controversial issues.
  3. Journals. I ask students in my twentieth-century classes to keep journals, with abstracts of articles and also descriptions of pieces. These can be used as springboards for discussion. I also gather and spot-check them several times a semester, using the grades as a supplement to their class participation grade. This way I require every student to think through the material for himself or herself before class, and I can monitor the thinking of even the least talkative students—some of whom are, of course, brilliant.

The point here is not to teach writing, but to use writing as a way for students to learn the content of the course and to practice using what they are learning.

A closely related movement emphasizes peer learning, in which students work in teams, respond to each other directly, or evaluate each other’s work.25 When my students write research papers, for instance, I ask them to work in groups of three or four during the semester, reading and commenting on each other’s topic proposals and first versions. This makes the task of writing more like real life, giving them a real audience, and it also helps them understand how their own papers can be improved. The group presentations and small-group discussions mentioned above are also types of peer learning, and there are many more.26 Any of these gets away from the instructor being the sole provider of content and asks the students to take a significant role in the classroom. In my experience, they always rise to the occasion.

Another recent approach is to assess how well students are learning what we are trying to teach, during or at the end of class. There are many methods for doing this, known as “Classroom Assessment Techniques.”27 For instance, at the end of a class session, have students come up with a one-sentence summary of the day’s class, or have them write down the one main thing they remember plus one thing that still confuses them or that they would like to know more about; collect them and read them over to see what is getting across clearly and what is still unclear, and devote some of the next class to clarifying the latter. Keep these anonymous; the point is to gauge how well you are doing, not to grade them. Or, after presenting something you want them to grasp, such as the differences between French and Italian styles in the late seventeenth century, stop class and pose a question: is this passage more likely French or Italian? Ask them to write down their answer, then ask for a show of hands. If almost all of them answer correctly and can explain why, you’re ready to move on to the next topic; if not, clear up their difficulties, then try again.

Today there are many technological means of extending the classroom online, with online discussions between classes, online quizzes and other exercises, and so on. One interesting tactic, called “Just-In-Time Teaching,” starts with a question focused around a particular concept in the course, e-mailed to the class the day before a class session, with an answer due two hours before classtime. The instructor reviews the answers quickly to see if students are understanding the concept well. If not, the instructor focuses some of the next lecture on that concept, then may repeat the test. But if the students already get it, the instructor can go on to the next concept without wasting class time on the one they have already learned.28

These are only some of the new strategies for teaching content outside of the old lecture framework, offering a far wider range of approaches than were thought of fifty years ago. A whole field of research, known as the “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,” has emerged in the last twenty years to study what actually works in teaching and how to refine our methods and develop new ones. Such deep thinking about and careful research on teaching strategies challenges all of us as teachers to stay informed about new work in the field of teaching, just as we strive to keep up with work in our individual fields of research.

I have touched on five areas of change—repertoires, narratives, materials, goals, and strategies. No doubt there are others, and there are many more aspects of these five areas that could be emphasized. The amount of change in music history teaching over the last fifty years is staggering, with a tremendous growth in possibilities for teachers and students alike. I can scarcely imagine what will happen in the coming decades.



Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.

Berger, Anna Maria Busse. Medieval Music and the Art of Memory. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Burkholder, J. Peter. “Museum Pieces: The Historicist Mainstream in Music of the Last Hundred Years.” Journal of Musicology 2 (1983): 115-34.

________. “Peer Learning in Music History Courses.” In Teaching Music History, ed. Mary Natvig, 205-23. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

________. Study and Listening Guide for “A History of Western Music” Fifth Edition by Donald Jay Grout and Claude V. Palisca and “Norton Anthology of Western Music” Third Edition by Claude V. Palisca. New York: Norton, 1996.

Burkholder, J. Peter, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music, 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2006. 8th ed., 2009.

Burkholder, J. Peter, and Claude V. Palisca. Norton Anthology of Western Music, 5th ed. New York: Norton, 2006. 6th ed., 2009.

Contemporary Music Project for Creativity in Music Education. Comprehensive Musicianship. Washington, D.C.: Contemporary Music Project, Music Educators National Conference, 1965.

Fink, Robert. “Teaching Music History (After the End of History): ‘History Games’ for the Twentieth-Century Survey.” In Teaching Music History, ed. Mary Nat - vig, 43-65. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

Griffin, C. Williams, ed. Teaching Writing in All Disciplines. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, 1982.

Grout, Donald Jay. A History of Western Music. New York: Norton, 1960. Rev. ed., 1973.

Grout, Donald Jay, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music, 4th ed. New York: Norton, 1988. 5th ed., 1996. 6th ed., 2001.

Grout, Donald Jay, with Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music, 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 1980.

Hess, Carol A. “Score and Word: Writing About Music.” In Teaching Music History, ed. Mary Natvig, 193-204. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

Hunter, Desmond, and Michael Russ, eds. Peer Learning in Music. Belfast: University of Ulster, 2000.

Locke, Ralph. “What Chopin (and Mozart and Others) Heard: Folk, Popular, ‘Func- tional,’ and Non-Western Music in the Classic/Romantic Survey Course.” In Teaching Music History, ed. Mary Natvig, 25-42. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

Macey, Patrick. “Providing Context: Teaching Medieval and Renaissance Music.” In Teaching Music History, ed. Mary Natvig, 3-11. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

Mathiesen, Thomas J. Apollo’s Lyre: Greek Music and Music Theory in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Publications of the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature 2. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.

Natvig, Mary, ed. Teaching Music History. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

Novak, Gregor M., Evelyn T. Patterson, Andrew D. Gavrin, and Wolfgang Christian. Just-In-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1999.

Palisca, Claude V. Norton Anthology of Western Music. New York: Norton, 1980. 2nd ed., 1988. 3rd ed., 1996. 4th ed., 2001.

Salzman, Eric. Twentieth-Century Music: An Introduction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1967. 2nd ed., 1974.

Smith, Barbara Leigh, ed. Writing Across the Curriculum. Washington, D.C.: American Association for Higher Education, 1984.

Starr, Pamela. “Teaching in the Centrifugal Classroom.” In Teaching Music History, ed. Mary Natvig, 169-80. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

Taruskin, Richard. “Scriabin and the Superhuman.” In Defining Russia Musically: Historical and Hermeneutical Essays, 308-88. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univer- sity Press, 1997.

Walvoord, Barbara Fassler. Writing: Strategies for All Disciplines. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1985.

Weber, William. The Great Transformation of Musical Taste: Concert Programming from Haydn to Brahms. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

________. “Mass Culture and the Reshaping of European Musical Taste, 1770- 1870.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 8 (1977): 5-22.

Willoughby, David. Comprehensive Musicianship and Undergraduate Music Curricula. Washington, D.C.: Contemporary Music Project, 1971.

Young, Art, and Toby Fulwiler, eds. Writing across the Disciplines: Research into Practice. Upper Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook, 1986.



1Taruskin, “Scriabin,” 315.

2Salzman, Twentieth-Century Music (1967), 86; (1974), 75.

3On this process, see Weber, “Mass Culture and the Reshaping of European Musical Taste,” which has always been the first assigned reading in my classes on twentieth-century music, undergraduate or graduate. See also Weber’s new book The Great Transformation of Musical Taste, in which he traces the changes in musical life and concert programming which led to the rise of the classical repertoire.

4Burkholder, “Museum Pieces.”

5See Berger, Medieval Music.

6Grout, A History.

7Grout, A History, rev. ed., 714-25.

8Grout and Palisca, A History, 4th ed., 869-70 and 876-79.

9Grout and Palisca, A History, 5th ed., 759-802.

10Ibid., 716 and 765-71. The coverage was the same in the 6th edition of 2001, pp. 699 and 748-54.

11Burkholder, Grout, and Palisca, A History, 7th ed., 234-35, 377-78, 614-15, 675-78, 683, 700-701, 711-12, 765-70, 844-64, 896-908, 944-52. Other passages not mentioned here also deal with music in the Americas or with popular music. Although the book has a copyright date of 2006, it was published in July 2005.

12See Burkholder, Grout, and Palisca, A History, 8th ed., 331-32, 372, 881-84, 889-90, 893-94, 900-904, and 979-84 for these and other works that show the influence of American and popular traditions.

13Grout (1960), xi; Grout and Palisca, 4th ed., ix.

14Burkholder, Grout, and Palisca, 7th ed., xxiii; 8th ed., xxv.

15Palisca, Norton Anthology; Grout with Palisca, A History, 3rd ed.

16Burkholder, Study and Listening Guide. New editions of the study guide have been published for later editions of the textbook; those for the seventh and eighth editions of the textbook have been coauthored by Jennifer L. King.

17Burkholder and Palisca, Norton Anthology, 5th ed. and 6th ed.

18The online resources are at; full access requires a registration code enclosed in each copy of the textbook.

19Mathiesen, Apollo’s Lyre, 7-13; Burkholder, Grout, and Palisca, 7th ed., 4-23; 8th ed., 4-21.

20See the description of course objectives in the online syllabus at

21Natvig, ed., Teaching Music History.

22Macey, “Providing Context”; Locke, “What Chopin,” quoting p. 30; Fink, “Teaching Music,” quoting p. 45.

23The founding document is the Contemporary Music Project’s Comprehensive Musicianship. See also Willoughby, Comprehensive Musicianship. The approach has also been used in primary and secondary schools.

24Among the sources that inspired the movement and helped it to spread are Griffin, ed., Teaching Writing; Smith, ed., Writing; Walvoord, Writing; and Young and Fulwiler, eds., Writing.

25See the resource pack Peer Learning, ed. Hunter and Russ.

26On writing and peer learning in the music history classroom, see also the essays in Natvig by Starr, “Teaching in the Centrifugal Classroom”; Hess, “Score and Word”; and Burkholder, “Peer Learning.”

27See Angelo and Cross, Classroom Assessment, 2nd ed.

28See Novak, Patterson, Gavrin, and Christian, Just-In-Time Teaching.

3293 Last modified on October 1, 2018