Music Appreciation Scope and Sequence

One of the first things I learned when delving into Mason’s original programmes, is that Composer Study is actually called Music Appreciation. Although composer study is the familiar term to most CM families, I have decided to use Music Appreciation because it’s what Mason used. Also, I believe it is a more appropriate name for all that the study entailed in the upper forms and a more appropriate name even for a High School Transcript.  So whenever I discuss Music Appreciation I am referring to what is commonly known as composer study, but more than that as well.

Below you will see a simplified scope and sequence chart for Music Appreciation based on the research I have been doing in Mason’s original programmes from 1921 to 1933 ( Found at CMDC).   Most of the books can be found in the public domain.  The ones that can’t be will hopefully be available soon here on  Miss Mason’s Music!  Links for the online books will be found below.


As you can see in the chart above, all forms followed the Music Appreciation program included in the Parents’ Review. There was an article each term that included some biographical information as well as 6 song selections and musical information about each selected song.  Cedric Howard Glover, one of the authors of the PNEU Music Programs, wrote this in the introduction to a book he authored: “The chosen biographies are chosen with reference to the teacher rather than the pupil.”  It seems that just as a parent should read from the Handbook of Nature Study and be prepared to share nature study information with the child as they go on nature walks, so too, the composer biographies were meant to educate the parent, so as they listened to the chosen pieces of music with their children, short biographical and musical tidbits could be shared as needed with each student.  I think this might indicate to us a freedom, that we don’t have to find an amazing living book on each composer, because the music itself is the main focus.  If you go to the Broad Overview of Music Appreciation, there I have included much more detail on how a lesson should unfold! Below I have included Resources that follow the scope and sequence of Music Appreciation across the different Forms!

Music Appreciation

L’umile Pianta Article on Music Appreciation – Page 75.

The Book Of Great Musicians – For Students in Form 2

The Listener’s Guide to Music for students in Form 3

Musical Ground Work – An ear training book for Form 4

Music and Its Story by R.T. While is the other biographical book Mason used for Form 4 and it will only be available to paying members at this time, since I am having to format it all myself. You might be able to find a printed copy online.

The Enjoyment of Music  – Form 5

The World’s Great Men of Music ( I am uncertain at this time, which form this was used in, I need to do a bit more searching) It’s a nice resource of Biographies anyway.