Western Michigan University--School of Music
Spring 2020 Syllabus

Changes to the syllabus due to WMU/COVID-19 are shown in red and blue font below

Music 3500: American Music Since 1900
Mondays and Wednesdays 4-5:40PM - Knauss 2452
Course Reference Number [CRN] 11176—4 Credits

Instructor: Dr. Daniel Jacobson 

Office: 2306 Dalton Center * Office Hours: Mon/Wed by appointment
daniel.jacobson@wmich.edu * Phone: 387-4685


Course Description and Objectives

This course will look at the monumental developments in the history and culture of the United States in the 20th century, and consider how those developments are reflected and sometimes driven by major musical styles in "roots music", "popular music", and "classical" art-music.


Required Materials 

The only item you need to purchase for this class is a Music 3500 User's License for the online Textbook & Workbook for American Music in the 20th Century from Mycoursepack.com ($18).


The direct link to order is:



Within one business day of purchase, links to these materials will appear in the "Content" and "Assessment" categories the MUS 3500 eLearning site (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:

Midterm Exam (Chaps. 1-4)

= 400 points possible

Music 3500 Proficiency Quiz—done in eLearning)

= 120 points possible

Final Exam (Chaps 1-9)—done in eLearning

= 280 points possible

Online Workbook Quizzes

= 200 points possible

1000 points possible


The "Music 3500 Proficiency Quiz" assignment (done in eLearning) replaces the
listening and the fill-in-the chart parts of the final exam
because WMU suspended
face-to-face in-class instruction for the rest of this semester

The Final Exam (which will now be done as a 70-question eLearning quiz) is openbook but timed—you will have 2 full hours to complete this exam.


Distribution of Final Grades

A      =1000-930 points

BA   = 929-880 points

B      = 879-830 points

CB   = 829-780 points

C      = 779-730 points

DC   = 729-680 points

D      = 679-600 points

E      = 599 or below


Final Course Grades

In equal fairness to every student in this class, I do not negotiate grades with students. All students will be graded on the same criteria as listed above.


Class Attendance

Regular attendance is critical to your success in this course. You are responsible for all notes, recordings, films/videos presented in class. Although there are not face-to-face classes for the rest of this semester, you must keep up on all readings, assignments, videos, and assignment deadlines.


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 "Online E-Workbook" below).


You can also get to the Music 3500 website by doing the following:

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

2) click on the "Academics" link, then click on the "Course Materials" link

3) click on the "Music 3500: American Music" link 



There are 2 "closed-book" exams (including a comprehensive final). Each exam includes multiple choice, matching, true/false, listening identification, and a major essay question based on material covered in the class lectures, textbook and videos. Exam dates are listed on the "Schedule of Lectures and Assignments." Review guidelines and study aids will be posted online one week before each exam. Exams are NOT openbookthe use of notes, cell phones, or other electronics during the exam is strictly forbidden, and will cause you to be referred to the Office of Student Conduct (see "Academic Honesty" policy, below). No student will be allowed to leave the room during an exam for any reason. COVID-19 change: The final exam is now openbook and online in eLearning, and you will have the exam time length accommodations that have been approved for you by DSS.



Online "E-Workbook" Assignments (E-Learning Quiz Assessments)
Quizzes are still due in eLearning by deadlines that have been posted all semester in the Music 3500 course schedule

Each chapter of the textbook has an online "openbook" quiz assignment associated with it, as accessed through the class site in WMU E-Learning. 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. Take your time to do well on these online openbook quizzes--they are worth approximately one-fifth of your final course grade in Music 3500 (maximum of 200 points possible).


Make-Up Policy for Exams

Because the final exam and the "Music 3500 Proficiency Quiz" are now done online, there are no make up examsyou must complete these and the remaining quizzes in eLearning by the deadlines posted in the Music 3500 course schedule.


Extra Credit

There is one optional 50-point extra credit paper in this class (see the Music 3500 class website for details and guidelines)
You must do this in the eLearning "extra credit" quiz (do not email it to me, and do not use the dropbox).
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, fabrication, forgery and falsification, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity 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

Each assignment and exam that is left in this class has already gives you plenty of time to complete it, so you will NOT be allowed to have later deadlines for assignments or exams.

The final exam is now openbook and online in eLearning, and you will have the exam time-length accommodation that has been approved for you by DSS.