Humanities (HUMN) 268

Classical Music: A Historical Introduction (Revision 1)

ECON 380 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: HUMN 269. HUMN 268 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—with MUSI 268. HUMN 268 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for MUSI 268 or HUMN 269.

Centre: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

HUMN 268 has a Challenge for Credit Option.

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Welcome to MUSIC 268: Classical Music: A Historical Introduction. The principal aim of this course is to review the fundamental elements of Western art music. We begin by obtaining a good grasp of the key elements of music, and it is equally important to become comfortable with the meaning and use of the musical vocabulary introduced.


This course is divided into the following fifteen units.

  • Unit: 1 The Elements and Origins of Music
  • Unit: 2 Medieval Music
  • Unit: 3 Music in the Renaissance Era
  • Unit: 4 Baroque Era I: Early and Middle Baroque
  • Unit: 5 Baroque Era II: Late Baroque
  • Unit: 6 The Classical Period I: Style and Composers
  • Unit: 7 The Classical Period II: Forms, Genres, and the Transition to Romanticism
  • Unit: 8 Early Romantic Music
  • Unit: 9 Opera in the Nineteenth Century
  • Unit: 10 Musical Nationalism
  • Unit: 11 Late Romanticism
  • Unit: 12 The Modernist Revolution I: Verismo, Impressionism, Exoticism/Expressionism, Neo-Classicism, and Serialism
  • Unit: 13 The Modernist Revolution II: Eastern Europe, Russia, England and the USA
  • Unit: 14 Postmodernism in Late Twentieth-Century Music
  • Unit: 15 After Postmodernism: A Return to Nature and Religion


To receive credit for HUMN 268, you must complete and submit the following five components. In order to pass the course, you must achieve a course composite mark of at least “D” (50 percent), and obtain a minimum of 50 percent on the final examination. The recommended weighting of the five components of that composite mark are as follows.

Activity   Total
15 posts to the unit discussion boards Due: At the end of each unit 15%
15 completed self-tests Due: At the end of each unit 15%
Written assignment 1: short essay Due: After Unit 7 20%
Written assignment 2: long essay Due: After Unit 15 25%
Final examination   25%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Wright, Craig. Listening to Western Music, 7th edition. Boston, MA: Thomson Schirmer, 2014.

Other Resources

The online course materials include the following:

MUSIC 268: Classical Music: A Historical Introduction. Course Information. Athabasca University, 2014.

MUSIC 268: Classical Music: A Historical Introduction. Study Guide. Athabasca University, 2014.

Wright, Craig, ed. Downloadable music selections to accompany Listening to Western Music, 7th edition. Boston, MA: Thomson Schirmer, 2014.

Student Manual. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HUMN 286 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “C-” (60 percent) on the challenge examination. The two parts of the exam must be written on the same day.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, July 23, 2014.

Updated May 18 2016 by Student & Academic Services