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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lawrence Starr
MUHST 421
Seattle Campus

Music Criticism

Study of the various forms of music criticism, with an emphasis on the writing of valid examples and evaluation of one's own work along with that of others - classmates, journalists, and academic critics. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.0 in each of MUHST 210, MUSIC 303, and MUSIC 306.

Class description

Students will explore many issues surrounding the field of music criticism, but most of all will learn by doing. This is an intensive writing course, and requires written work on a weekly basis.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Seminar: round-table discussion of written criticism by students and others. Student work is discussed anonymously; the identity of the author of a piece of student criticism is known only to the writer.

Recommended preparation

A thorough background in music history and theory--this course is for music majors, and requires completion of the "core" courses for the major. Also, students must be comfortable and fluent with written English; a writing "audition" must be passed for admission into the course. The "audition" consists of the submission of a brief example of polished writing, representative of the student's best work.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly examples of criticism, 750-100 words long. Students are also required to read and evaluate examples of criticism by others (both fellow-students and professionals) on a weekly basis.

Successful completion of all assigned work. High standards of competence in English usage are expected on all assignments.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Lawrence Starr
Date: 07/23/1998