Music (MUSI) 310

Western Music: Beginnings to Baroque (Revision 1)

MUSI 310 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with an audio component*.
*Overseas students, please contact the University Library before registering in a course that has an audio/visual component.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. MUSI 267 is strongly recommended.

Precluded Course: MUSI 310 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—with HUMN 310. MUSI 310 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HUMN 310.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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MUSI 310 is not available for challenge.

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MUSI 310 surveys the development of Western music from its beginnings in Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Baroque era. Major composers studied include Hildegard of Bingen, Pérotin, Guillaume de Machaut, Guillaume Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Claudio Monteverdi, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel, and Johann Sebastian Bach.


MUSI 310 is divided into thirteen units:


  • Unit 1: The Ancient World
  • Unit 2: The Early Middle Ages
  • Unit 3: The Central Middle Ages
  • Unit 4: The Late Middle Ages
  • Unit 5: The Early Renaissance
  • Unit 6: The Later Renaissance
  • Unit 7: The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation
  • Unit 8: Tudor England & Late Renaissance Italy
  • Unit 9: The Early Baroque
  • Unit 10: The Baroque in Italy
  • Unit 11: The Baroque in Germany and France
  • Unit 12: The Baroque in England
  • Unit 13: Johann Sebastian Bach


To receive credit for MUSI 310, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent) and a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the final examination. The composite final grade is based on the marks obtained on four oral assignments (reports), two written assignments (essays), and a final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Oral assignments (reports) Written Assignment 1 (essay) Written Assignment 2 (essay) Exam Total
20% 20% 25% 35% 100%

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

Course Materials


Craig Wright and Bryan Simms, Music in Western Civilization, Vol. 1: Antiquity to Baroque. Belmont, CA: Thomson Schirmer, 2006.

Other Materials

Recordings: CD set to accompany Wright and Simms, Music in Western Civilization, Vol. 1: Antiquity to Baroque. Belmont, CA: Thomson Schirmer, 2006.

Scores: Timothy Roden, Craig Wright and Bryan Simms, eds., Anthology for Music in Western Civilization, Vol. 1: Antiquity through the Baroque. Belmont, CA: Thomson Schirmer, 2006.

Study Guide and Course Manual.

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, April 3, 2008.

Updated May 26 2016 by Student & Academic Services