Music (MUSI) 267

Sound and Sense: Listening to Music (Revision 3)

MUSI 267 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: HUMN 269. This course and MUSI 268 replace HUMN 269. (MUSI 267 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for HUMN 269.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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MUSI 267 is not available for challenge.

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MUSI 267 is an introductory course in music appreciation for non-musicians. It has two broad objectives: to enhance the student's aesthetic perception of music and to teach the 'tension and repose' method of listening to and understanding music. MUSI 267 examines music of all types in order to identify and explain universal features such as the organization of rhythm and pitch. Specifically, it will help students to begin an exploration of music of all cultures and historical periods, to become aware of the common features of all music, to acquire a basic music vocabulary, to identify a number of pieces aurally, and to write descriptively, analytically, and comparatively about music.

As the title of the course implies, the emphasis is upon listening. The work for each unit includes extended periods of listening to recordings as well as reading. Although any prior knowledge of music will be useful, this course is structured so that a student without a previous musical background can be successful in it. For example, although musical notation is explained, it is used only as a graphical aid to listening and you do not need to be able to read music in order to complete the course.


  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: The Instruments
  • Unit 3: The Human Voice
  • Unit 4: Rhythm
  • Unit 5: Pitch
  • Unit 6: Foreground and Background
  • Unit 7: Growth and Structure
  • Unit 8: Tension and Repose


To receive credit for MUSI 267, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
2 Assignments (30% each) 60%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


Funes, Donald J. 1992. Musical Involvement: A Guide to Perceptive Listening, 2nd ed. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. (PDF)

Other materials

The course materials include an online study guide and online course manual. Music content is streamed online.

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 3, August 28, 2013.

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