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Music Appreciation @ NKU

Home Page...

Hosted by Professor Johnston

Click here for the Music for Preemies (article by Gary Johnston)
and '
Mostly Mozart' playlist from 'Preemies' article (.pfd)
as featured on WXIX Fox 19 on 6/24/2004.

For your current grades, click here.

Fall 2012 resources:


MUS 100 Syllabus
MUS 100 Class Calendar
(.pdf file)
Click here to log on to NKU Blackboard
Username is your NKU email name.
...For .pdf files:


[Note: .pdf files require that Acrobat Reader is installed on your computer.]
[For KYVU/Blackboard/online assistance call NKU's Help Desk at 859-572-6911]

Test #1 study guide with listening
Test #2 study guide with listening
Test #3 study guide with listening
KYVU/Blackboard sample assignment #1
Concert Review example
KYVU/Blackboard sample assignment #2
KYVU/Blackboard sample assignment #3


Mozart Effect,
Rauscher's Reply to Critics
TIME on Brain Development,
Newsweek: Music and Child Development,
Music Beats Computers,
MuSICA Research Notes Article Index
M.I.N.D. Institute
Debunking "Amadeus" - was Mozart REALLY like that?
Music for Preemies (article by Gary Johnston)
Mostly Mozart' playlist from 'Preeemies' article (.pfd)
From Brain Research to Mass Marketed CD's/Nelson

Dr. Frances Rauscher...

About your professor

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Other resources:

Music Appreciation: NKU Concert/Recital Schedule.
Classical Music FAQ;
 Classical Music resource site - GREAT!
Timeline 1 (.pdf) <---> Timeline 2 (.pdf)
WGUC 90.9 FM Classical Station

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Clymer's Cincinnati Music & Theatre
NKU Musical Events
Enjoy the Arts Calendar

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Schedule (CSO)
Cincinnati Community Orchestra
Mount Auburn Brass Fellowship
UC College-Conservatory of Music
Blue Wisp Jazz Club Schedule

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Visit the NKU Music Department home page.

 Sample Blackboard assignment (see Blackboard for due date and exact assignment!)

[Note that the Strauss example below is not one of your required pieces.] Try to use as many of the terms you have studied as work in your reflection to show a command of the vocabulary you learned in chapters 1-6 and in class. Use all these headers and put your name at the bottom as shown.

First, listen to examples 5-10 (CD tracks 12-25) and pick your favorite for your reflection. Musical examples are listed on page xvii. Don't confuse "example" numbers wth "CD track" numbers. Example #5 is CD track 12 and is on book page 60.

Kyrie IV, Cunctipotens Genitor Sumer is Icumen In
Queen Elisabeth Galliard
As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending
Agnus Dei (Pope Marcellus Mass)
Moro Lasso


Subject: MUS 100 reflection 1

Title/Composer: "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss

First Impression: Listening to this piece reminded me of some noble event in history. I remember hearing it in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey," where it depicted the beginning of human thought.

Technical description: "Also Sprach Zarathustra" starts with a very low note played on organ. Trumpets play a simple, unison, adagio (or perhaps largo), 3 notes, each higher in pitch than the last. There is a big crescendo on the held note, then two descending fortissimo notes played by the full brass section. A timpani ends the phrase. Then it repeats two more times, but the brass section notes go higher on each repetition leading to a brilliant, uplifting, triumphant section still played by the brass. The pitch and dynamic level go higher and higher until the final chord.

Emotional description: Emotionally, this short piece made me feel very proud and optimistic. I can't really put the feeling into words except to say it felt like good had brilliantly triumphed over the dark, evil sounds that began the piece.

History and research results: I read that this opening is part of a larger tone poem by Strauss, a single-movement programmatic work in which he musically depicts the ideas of the religious figure, Zoroaster (628-551 BC), as articulated in a book by the same name by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Based on the short sample on our CD, I think I would like to listen to the rest of this piece and/or other works by Richard Strauss.

Ima Goodstudent,
MUS 100-007 11:00 MWF

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 Second Blackboard example (see Blackboard for due date and exact assignment!)

Try to use as many of the terms you have studied as work in your reflection to show a command of the vocabulary you learned in chapters 1-6 and in class. Always put your name at the bottom of your entry.

For this reflection, listen to the following pieces (these are the pieces for test #2).
This assignment is the same as #1, but with the pieces listed below. Use the same basic format as the previous example.

This a (see KYVU/Blackboard) point assignment. You will be graded according the following criteria:

1. In on time using email
2. Good spelling and grammar
3. Follows the format of the example #1.
4. Proper use of musical terms
5. Clearly shows you researched the piece.

Subject: MUS 100

Titles (from your CD):
Sonata pian'e Forte
"Tu se' morta" from Orfeo
Brandenberg Concerto no 2
"And the Glory of the Lord" from Messiah
"Little" Fugue in g Minor
Symphony no. 40 in g Minor, K. 550, 1st movement
Marriage of Figaro, Act I, Excerpts
Concerto in Eb for Trumpet & Orchestra, III
"Emperor" String Quartet in C Major, II
"Spring" from The Four Seasons
Symphony no. 5 in c Minor
"Erlkönig" (Earl King)


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 Third KYVU/Blackboard sample (see KYVU/Blackboard for due date and exact assignment!)


Example #3 is a web research outline on one composer of your choosing.

First, pick a composer from the book. If your last name begins with A through M, pick from pages 167-218 (Romantic-Impressionistic). If your last name begins with N through Z, pick from pages 224-308 (20th Century-Jazz). Please exclude Beethoven, and any musical theatre composers. Classical / jazz only.

Then, using the WWW and your book, fill in the following outline (you may cut and past this outline format) {} and blanks are things you fill in.

--OUTLINE-- {Firstname Lastname}
MUS 100, Section {V01}
October 14, 2008


I. {Composer's name}'s five (5) most important compositions (in my opinion).

II. {Composer's name}'s five (5) most significant contribution(s) to music

III. The five (5) most interesting events/facts I have learned about {Composer's name}

IV. The URL's of the five (5) best best web sites I found on {Composer's name}
a. http://
b. http://
c. http://
d. http://
e. http://

--SAMPLE-- (Do not use this composer yourself!)

Subject: Reflection #3

Bill Hamilton
MUS 100, Section 3
October 12, 2009

Reflection #3 on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791
(Do not use Mozart!)

I. Mozart's five (5) most important compositions (in my opinion).
a. Don Giovanni (opera)
b. Mozart's Requiem Mass
c. Symphony No. 40 in g minor
d. The Marriage of Figaro (opera)
e. Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major, K271

II. Mozart's five (5) most significant contribution(s) to music
a. Brought the Classical Period style to it's apex
b. Changed musical style more than anyone else
c. Wrote the greatest piano concerti of all time -- c. 27 of them
d. Wrote c.41 symphonies
e. Wrote a great variety of superb chamber music

III. The five (5) most interesting events/facts I have learned about Mozart
a. Life as a touring child prodigy
b. His relationship with and breakaway from his father
c. The ease with which he composed complex music in his head
d. The use of "trouser roles" in his operas
e. Used the trombone in his Requiem with a solo in "Tuba Mirum"

IV. The URL's of the five (5) best web sites I found on Mozart
a. http://www.futurenet.com/classicalnet/composers/features/mozart/mozart.html
b. http://www.frontiernet.net/~sboerner/mozart/
c. http://www.frontiernet.net/~sboerner/mozart/essays/brown.html
d. http://lucia.lib.lawrence.edu:8080/LUCIA1?A=MOZART+WOLFGANG+AMADEUS+1756+1791+QUARTETS+STRINGS+SELECTIONS
e. http://freemasonry.bc.ca/biography/mozart_a/mozart_a.html

--Ima Goodstudent


Evaluation will be 10 points on the quality of each section including overall format and following directions. (See KYVU/Blackboard) points total possible.> Have fun with this!

Professor J

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 Sample Review
(Use all these headers and put your name at the top as shown.)


Suzie Student
Concert Report: Choral Ensembles concert
Music 100-V01
October 31, 2009

General Impressions.

I attended the University Choral Ensembles concert at Greaves Auditorium on Thursday night. I have never been to a concert where this kind of music was played, so it was interesting. I did enjoy this style, however, including the many songs which were performed a capella, yet I don't prefer it over regular instrumental-vocal music. As with the other concert that I attended this semester, I found that my interest in and love for music is even broader than I thought. The performers were dressed elegantly: the girls wore formal dresses of either black or purple (according to the group that they were members of), and the guys wore tuxedos. The stage was set with a piano front and center (the main instrument other than voices), and few percussion instruments at the back of the stage behind the singers' platforms, and a conductor's stand. A lady conducted some pieces, and man conducted others.

Overview of the Concert.

As I said before, most of the songs were performed a capella. There was a variety of types of songs performed. The Chamber Singers really impressed me with their repertoire. The two Spanish Christmas carols that they did had exotic sounds created by the instruments that they used, such as a bongo drum, tambourines, finger cymbals, etc. They also had festive characteristics in that the singers clapped with the music. Their performance of the Jabberwocky was surprisingly good and exciting. It was very dramatic and animated, and it allowed the singers to "perform" more than just sing. Other pieces were more hymn-like and reserved, including a soothing lullaby song. Overall, I thought that the concert was well-organized and included a wide array of music that would please anyone.

Musical Impressions

The Chamber Singers are performing a variety of pieces. There was one piece in particular that the women are singing that I found interesting. It sounded like some sort or oriental song; it was unusual because I am used to hearing either English, German, or Italian pieces being performed by choruses. It is evident that all of the singers are very talented by the mature, focused sound that they project. They work well with one another, and are able to have fun with the music. They demonstrate a wide range and are able to manipulate their dynamic levels effectively. One detraction that the group may have is that sometimes they get so involved with a song and how they thing it should sound that they stop paying attention to the director. This causes the sound to fall apart. They all begin to sing at their own tempo, which makes their cutoffs sloppy.

Personal Reaction.

I enjoyed this concert very much and am glad for the way it extended my appreciation of good music. This concert wasn't quite what I expected in that it was all vocal and had very little instrumental accompaniment. However, as I was able to get into the choral sound and stopped expecting the instruments I really began to like it. When the men sing alone the sound is really rich and emotional. When the whole choir sings it reminds me of hearing Handel's Messiah at church when I was growing up. I guess I sometimes get emotional when I hear choral music.

[Thanks to Dr. Andrew Levin of Clemson University for permission to excerpt this paper.]

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Contact Professor Johnston ..... johnston@nku.edu


Designed, created, made, uploaded, thought up by and copyrighted (c) by Professor Johnston, Edgewood, Ky

with a Macintosh Intel MacBook Pro running MacOSX.

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