Amite Plaza sculpture. Plattsburgh State University
Plattsburgh State - Department of Music
Dr. Drew Waters


Studio Bass

Elementary Musicianship

World Music

Music Technology

Recording Practicum

Elementary Musicianship 120 Syllabus

subject to change

MUS 120a Elementary Musicianship MFA 112

Fall 2004 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00 AM

MUS 120b Elementary Musicianship MFA 112

Fall 2004 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 AM

Instructor: Dr. Drew Waters

Office: MFA 229

Telephone:518.564.7790 ext. 2470(office);

Email: andrew.waters

Office Hours: MWF 9:00-10:00

MF 2:00-4:00 by appointment

Tuesday, Thursday: TBA

Required Materials

Harder, Paul O. and Greg A Steinke. Basic Materials in Music Theory-A Programmed Course. Tenth edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2003.

Music staff paper, pencils, ruler, eraser.

Recommended Materials

Jakobsen, Hans Lavdal. EarMaster Pro 4.0. MidiTec: Denmark, 1996-2000.

EarMaster Pro 4.0 is available through the College Store. You may purchase your own software package and install it on your personal computer. Having your own copy will allow you to work at any time of the day or night, seven days a week. You do not a need MIDI keyboard to use the software.

EarMaster 4.0 is also installed on three computers (machines #46, 47, and 48) in Feinberg Computer Lab. Technically, you have first priority on the Feinberg Lab
computers; if the three designated computers are in use by someone not in Elementary Musicianship, you may politely ask them to move to another computer. Or you may ask the lab monitor to do that for you.


This course begins work in the tonal system and the principles of form in music.
The course will introduce the development of keyboard and ear training skills. Students will approach the theory work through listening, analysis, discussion, composition, and
performance. The course objectives are to establish a strong foundation in fundamentals of music. Through drill, study, and practice, students will:

  1. read and notate the standard symbols used in Western music,
  2. recognize visually and aurally standard tonal patterns,
  3. understand the concepts of time, meter, and rhythm,
  4. notate and perform tonal patterns, and
  5. perform simple vocal and keyboard exercises.

Our course consists of two components: theory and aural skills.
The Harder and Steinke textbook will focus on the written music theory principles described in the objectives above. Hand-outs and class work and exercises will supplement the text significantly. The aural skills component is designed to develop the acuity of your musical ear, improving your ability not only to recognize, distinguish, and remember musical events, but also to translate sounds into notation, and vice versa. In-class exercises will be supplemented by the EarMaster ear training program available at Feinberg Computer Lab.

The process of music training is slow, but with steady and regular practice, the skills will come that are essential to any fine musician. Having successfully completed this course, the student will be ready to enroll in MUS 121: Theory and Aural Skills I.


Attendance Policy

DO NOT MISS CLASS. Showing up is a basic requisite of professional behavior. Your absence will affect your ability to master the material and will handicap class discussion and performance. Your absences will be considered excused only if you are ill or if you have a death in the family or comparable family emergency. Moreover, for an absence to be excused, you must inform me of the reason for the absence before class; if you are ill, leave a message on my voice mail at the above number, or email me. Also be advised that if you are sick enough to miss this class, I consider that you are sick enough to miss
whatever lessons or rehearsals you have later in the day. If you have planned to travel during Thanksgiving, adjust those plans immediately. No absences will be excused regardless of the reason for your absence, you are solely responsible for work missed in class. No quizzes or examinations will be rescheduled because of unexcused absences. In the case of an excused absence, a make-up exam will be given; quizzes may be made up or waived at the option of the instructor. If written work is due on the day of your absence, you are responsible for turning it in, even if you are not physically present.

More than three absences, excused or otherwise, will result in a lower semester grade.


All students must document their use of the EarMaster ear training program for a minimum of 2 hours weekly. We will commence work with EarMaster a few weeks into the semester. This program of drill exercises supplements our class activities and other homework assignments. A short, but regularly scheduled, daily session of individual practice combined with one or two longer weekly meetings with a study group is recommended. In-class drills and assignments will be given regularly. Complete all assignments on time. This includes not only written assignments but assigned readings as well. Note that reading includes taking notes as necessary and writing down questions about any material you do not understand. Late homework will not be accepted on or after the day that graded assignments are returned. Late homework may be penalized.

All written work should be done in pencil. Erase-do not cross out.

I will not grade an assignment or test done in pen.


Sign-up sheets will be posted on my office door (Room #314) the week previous.
Reminders will be given in class and online. It is up to the student to sign up
for a time. Failure to sign up for a time means a failure of the test.

A word about collaboration. Cooperative learning, in such forms as study groups and the like, can be a valuable aid to your study. Unsanctioned collaboration on individually-graded assignments, however, is a form of academic dishonesty. Unless I clearly specify that assignments may be shared, assume that any work that you turn in is to be done on your own. Any evidence of unsanctioned collaboration (including, but not limited to, unlikely similarities between papers, duplication of unusual errors, striking similarities of wording, etc.) will result in a grade of zero for all collaborators.


The final grade will be based upon the following criteria:

  1. Daily class work and homework 25%
  2. Quizzes (written and performed) 25%
  3. Tests (written and performed) 25%
  4. Final Examination 25%

The lowest grade in categories 1, 2, and 4 above will be dropped.

A = 4.0 = 94- 100%
A- = 3.7 = 90 - 93%
B+ = 3.3 = 87 - 89%
B = 3.0 = 83 - 86%
B- = 2.7 = 80 - 82%
C+ = 2.3 = 77 - 79%
C = 2.0 = 73 - 76%
C- = 1.7 = 70 - 72%
D+ = 1.3 = 67 - 69%
D = 1.0 = 63 - 66%
E = 0.0 = 0 - 62%


Office Hours
MWF 9:00-10:00
MF 2:00-4:00 by appointment
Tuesday, Thursday: TBA

Tele: 518-564-2470



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