87595 - Introduction to the Study of Music I

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Cultural Heritage (cod. 9076)

Learning outcomes

The educational aims of the teaching are the enhancement of music as a material and immaterial cultural heritage. At the end of the course the student has learnt the words of music, i.e. the technical terminology which allows him/her to speak about the fundamental concepts of the Western musical theory and practice. The student is able to manage the tools that allow him/her a conscious listening to the music, in particular the main genres of the repertoire of the Western art music and is able to contextualize them in the cultural history.

Course contents

The course introduces the novice listener to the wonders of classical music. Any students wishing to be introduced to musical language is very welcome, regardless of their previous musical experience. It is accessible to all students of the three-year degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage (L-1), as it is proposed as a preparatory teaching to any type of musical knowledge and therefore is aimed at a mixed audience, formed both by those who are completely devoid of knowledge of musical language; both by those who intend to deepen their knowledge through the guided tour in "Musical Heritage".

The educational purposes of the teaching concern the enhancement of the ethical, social and cultural function of listening and performing music for any person and for any society of past or contemporary age. The course will emphasize the cultural, social and ethic functions of music in any society.

The teaching objective is to train an aware listener, educated to listen, describe and contextualise a significant composition from the learned repertoire of the history of European music, using an appropriate language.

Attending students can be followed in individual exercises.

Foreign students are required to ask for the program at least one month before the exams, writing to donatella.restani@unibo.it

The course will include: an introduction to the study of music as culture; to the history and current meaning of musical knowledge; to the concept of "musical heritage", also through the knowledge of its valorisation by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage.

Students will be guided to listen to, recognise and describe: some of the main monodic, polyphonic and homophonic forms and genres of European music from the fourteenth to the twentieth century, such as: lai, complainte, baladelle, virelais, ballade, rondeau, madrigal, chorus, aria, sonata, concerto, symphony and symphonic poem.

In particular, the course 'The words of music' will offer to the students short listenings and indications on what is meant by melody, rhythm, intervals, scales, monody and polyphony, tonality, rhythm, genres, form and syntax; on how to listen to the orchestra and how to recognise the families of musical instruments; on what a music sheet and a music score are and how they can be a valid aid for the aware listener.


All course materials will be available on the Virtuale platform, where the specific exam preparation methods are also available, for both attending and non-attending students.

Franco Alberto Gallo, Musica e storia da tre letture, "Musica e Storia", I, 1993, pp. 23-38.

Franco Alberto Gallo, Introduzione a Musica e storia tra Medio evo e Età Moderna, Bologna, 1986, pp. 9-29.

G. Rico, La formazione musicale nell'àmbito del Quadrivium, in "Enciclopedia della Musica", vol. IV, Storia della musica europea, Torino, Einaudi, 2004, pp. 118-129.

F. A. Gallo, Trascrizione di Machaut. Remede de Fortune, Ecu bleu, Remede d'Amour, Ravenna 1999.

N. Cook, Forma e sintassi, in "Enciclopedia della Musica", vol. II, Il sapere musicale, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, pp. 116-142.

Francesco Alessandro Grillo, Compendio di teoria musicale, Meligrana, 2012.

Other bibliographical references will be proposed during the lessons and will be made available online.

For non-attending students it is suggested to integrate the previous program by reading one of the following two texts:

M. Toffetti, Due parole sulla musica. Noi e il lessico musicale, Roma, Carocci, 2021;

F. Della Seta, Breve lessico musicale, Roma, Carocci, 2014 (II ed.).

Suggested reading: C. Wright, Listening to Western Music, Boston, 2014, pp. 1-225; with digital materials:



with English subtitles.

Teaching methods

Audiovisuals, pc, films and listening will be used during the lessons.

Audiovisuals: Leonard Bernstein, Young People's Concerts; and some movies regarding the musical genres and the function of music in education.

The teaching includes both conferences and seminars with focus groups, as well as individual exercises that will be the subject of the first part of the assessment.

Assessment methods

The examination will be oral. The students which attended the lessons are welcome to introduce their individual research.

The assessment will concern:

- first, the knowledge of the principal musical structures: monody and polyphony, intervals and chords, melody, rhythm, harmony, instruments and musical genres;

- secondly, the student will demonstrate his degree of competence in the use of appropriate terminology in the description of a musical text, from listening to the reading of the score;

- at last, it will be considered the knowledge of the historical and cultural context coming from the active and critical listening to music.

The final assessment will be expressed in the following ways:

- insufficient: lack of basic knowledge and incorrect or misleading interpretation of the topics;

- sufficient: basic knowledge; mainly correct interpretation but carried out with terminological imprecision and little autonomy;

- good: intermediate level knowledge; fully correct interpretation, but not always precise and autonomous;

- excellent grade: high level knowledge; interpretation of problems not only correct but conducted with autonomy and precision. Excellent oral expression skills.

Teaching tools

PC with video projector, sound reproduction instruments, video tools.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Donatella Restani


Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.