Listening for the elements of music


This week you are introduced to the Western classical music tradition by studying the elements of music. These elements include melody, harmony, rhythm, and texture. Begin to distinguish the elements of music in the music to which you listen by completing one of the assignment options below.

Choose one of the following options for your Week 1 Individual Assignment:

Option A

Refer to the Week 1 Listening Guides: Elements to identify different elements of music.

Choose one song or musical work you enjoy.

Identify at least 2 of the following elements of music in your selection:

  • Melody
  • Rhythm
  • Harmony
  • Texture

Describe how the identified elements contribute to your enjoyment of the musical piece by discussing the following:

  • What is the individual and overall effect of the elements of music in your chosen song or musical work? In other words, what is the piece’s overall mood?
  • What are the characteristics of the elements of music? Are they fast, slow, high-pitched, or low-pitched?
  • What is your emotional response to the music?

Submit your assignment in one of the following formats:

  • A 350- to 700-word paper
  • A 3- to 5-minute podcast
  • A 3- to 5-minute video

Format your assignment according to appropriate course-level APA guidelines.

Submit your assignment to the Assignment Files tab.

Option B (Recommended for Education Majors)

Create a 350- to 700-word lesson plan for the grade level of your choice.

Include the following in your lesson plan:

  • A description of the elements of music
  • How you plan to teach the elements of music described in detail with examples of in-class activities.
  • An examination of the experience produced by different elements of music with examples of in-class activities.

Format your assignment according to appropriate course-level APA guidelines.


Listen to the following on the McGraw-Hill Connect site. Listen for the elements of melody and rhythm to prepare for your Listening for The Elements of Music assignment:

  • “The Firebird, Finale”
  • “C-Jam Blues”
  • “Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor”
  • “L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2, Farandole”
  • “Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, Dance of the Reed Pipes”
  • “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”

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