Western Michigan University--School of Music
REVISED Spring 2020 Syllabus—see changes in RED and BLUE below

Music 1520: Rock--Its Genesis and Development
Mondays and Wednesdays 6-7:15PM Room 2452 Knauss Hall
Course Reference Number (CRN) 11113--3 Credits

Instructor: Dr. Daniel Jacobson 

* E-mail: daniel.jacobson@wmich.edu *


Course Description and Objectives

This course traces the rock phenomenon from its earliest roots to the present. A wide variety of styles, artists and approaches will be studied, as well as their impact on the development of 20th- and 21st-century society and culture.


Required Materials 

The only item you need to purchase for this class is a Music 1520 User's License for the online Textbook & Workbook for The Development of Rock 'N' Roll from www.mycoursepack.com ($18 plus tax).


The direct link to order is:



Within 24 hours of purchase, links to these materials will appear in the "Content" and "Assessment" categories the MUS 1520 eLearning site (Note: You will not be sent an access code or any other materials). Release dates for quizzes and study materials will follow the dates on the class schedule.


Grading, Testing and Attendance Policies

Final grades in this course are based on a 1000-total point scale:

Exam 1 (Chaps. 1-3)

= 240 points possible

"Video Assessment Quiz" (eLearning quiz)

= 130 points possible

Final Exam (Chaps 1-9 comprehensive)

= 360 points possible


= 270 points possible


1000 points possible

Distribution of Final Grades:

A      =1000-940 points

BA   = 939-890 points

B      = 889-840 points

CB   = 839-790 points

C      = 789-740 points

DC   = 739-690 points

D      = 689-600 points

E      = 599 or below


Exams and Quizzes
We already had Exam 1 in-class (worth 240 possible points, covering chapters 1 through 3—the beginnings of rock 'n' roll through the British Invasion).

2. Exam 2 (which was supposed to happen in-class on Wed March 25) has been replaced by a 130-point "Video Assessment Quiz" assignment in eLearning on "The Relationship of Rock Music to U.S. Racial Issues in the 1950s and 1960s." This new quiz "Video Assessment Quiz" must be completed by Wednesday March 25 2020, and it requires you in advance to watch THREE 1-hour streamed videos and gather some material while watching those videos, then respond to some questions within an eLearning quiz (more details on this will be posted and sent to you—you will be able to go in and out of this quiz to work on it until you complete it).

3. The Final Exam will be comprehensive—covering chapters 1 through 9 (worth 360 possible points), so it will include the most important material that would have been on Exam 2. Since WMU has suspended face-to-face class meetings, this final exam will be done online in eLearning (openbook but with a 2-hour time limit)—see the Music 1520 schedule, the Music 1520 eLearning site, and check your Bronco mail for more information.

This 90-question Final Exam must be completed in eLearning by Monday April 20, 2020.

NOTE: All eLearning Quizzes are still due by their original dates listed in the Music 1520 class schedule.
- Quizzes 4, 5 & 6 must be completed in eLearning by Wed March 25
- Quizzes 7, 8 & 9 must be completed by 7:15pm on Monday April 20

All readings and videos will be available online through the Music 1520 eLearning site.
If you have technical difficulty, you need to contact the WMU Help Desk at 269 387-4357 during normal business hours.

Dates and deadlines are listed on the "Schedule of Lectures and Assignments." Review guidelines and study aids will be posted online one week before each exam.

Important: Your final course grade in Music 1520 will be based solely on the number of total points you accumulate by the end of the semester—the final exam, quizzes, and the video assessment quiz were all openbook, so do not contact me asking me to raise your grade (in equal fairness to all students in the class, I do not negotiate grades with students for any reason)

You have the one-time option to get 20 extra credit points by doing the eLearning extra credit assignment


Class Attendance
(WMU emergency guidelines currently require online instruction for all classes through April 3. See the Music 1520 class schedule for new assignments and deadlines). Regular work in this class is critical to your success in this course, s it is your responsibility to keep current with the revised class syllabus and schedule, complete assignments on time, and carefully read all emails from me. You are responsible for all notes/information, recordings, films/videos presented online, in the textbook, and during in-class sessions that have already happened or will happen if the university lifts its emergency policy before the end of this semester.


Class Website

General information will be updated regularly on the class homepage; however, the majority of your web-based work for Music 1520 will be done through the WMU E-Learning site (see "E-Workbook" below).


You can also get to the Music 1520 website by doing the following:

1. go to the WMU Music homepage (http://www.wmich.edu/music)

2. click on the "Course Materials" link

3. click on the "Music 1520: The Genesis of Rock and Roll" link


Online "E-Workbook" Assignments (E-Learning Quiz Assessments)

Each chapter of the textbook has an online assignment (e-learning quiz assessment) associated with it, as accessed through the WMU E-Learning link that connects to the online textbook and materials for this course. E-Workbook assignments for each chapter become available online at various times over the semester (see "Course Schedule" link). To help you prepare for exams and stay on schedule with the class material, you should complete each E-Workbook assignment within one week of when it becomes available online; however, the E-Workbook assignments are not "due" or graded until the scheduled date of the in-class final exam. Your cumulative point score for the e-workbook assignments will determine approximately one-fourth of your final course grade in Music 1520 (maximum of 270 points possible).


Make-Up Policy for Exams

If you miss a test, you must call or e-mail the instructor by the end of that class day in order to be eligible for a make-up.

E-mail (best way to reach me): daniel.jacobson@wmich.edu

Phone: 387-4685 (OK to leave message 24 hours a day)

Make-ups must be completed within 2 class days of the original due date.



Extra Credit

You can choose to do 1 optional assignment for 20 points of extra credit. Detailed instructions are posted on the Music 1520 website (see the "Extra Credit" link). Note: Extra credit points must first be applied to any missing assignments or exams, then any points left over are extra points added to your total points. If the extra credit assignment points do not move you completely into the next-higher grade category, you were not and are not in a borderline grade situation.


WMU's "Academic Honesty" Policy

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Catalog that pertain to Academic Integrity. These policies include cheating, complicity, fabrication, forgery and falsification, multiple submission, plagiarism, and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs/Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.


Students With Documented Disability

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the Center for Disability Services , and then bring their disability confirmation to the instructor at the beginning of the semester. If you believe you need some type of accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Center for Disability Services first. The only accommodations that can be granted for DSS students in Music 1520 are that you will be allowed to take all exams at the DSS office if you schedule them there in advance. You will NOT be allowed to have later deadlines for assignments or exams, use electronics during exams, or leave the room during an exam.