MUS-M 410/510: Writing About Music, Fall 2018

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Daniel R. Melamed       dmelamed (at)




Wed 22 Aug     Introduction
Fri 24 Aug        Assignment 1. Analysis of a published concert review
Wed 29 Aug    Assignment 2. Concert review/Comparative analysis of liner notes
Fri  31 Aug      Assignment 2
Wed 5 Sep       Assignment 3. Concert review/Liner note
Fri 7 Sep          Assignment 3
Wed 12  Sep    Assignment 4. Concert review/Comparative analysis of published reviews
Fri 14 Sep        Assignment 4

Wed 19 Sep    No class--Yom Kippur    Assignment 5. Concert review/Liner note
Fri 21 Sep        Assignment 5
Wed 26 Sep     Assignment 6. Concert review/Liner note
Fri 28 Sep        Assignment 6

Mon 1 Oct      Assignment 7. Concert review/Liner note

Wed 3 Oct       Assignment 7
Fri 5 Oct         No class--fall break
Wed 10 Oct     Assignment 8. Concert review/Comparative analysis of recording reviews
Fri 12 Oct        Assignment 8
Wed 17 Oct     Assignment 9. Concert review/Recording review
Fri 19 Oct        Assignment 9
Wed 24 Oct     Assignment 10. Concert review/Recording review
Fri 26 Oct        Assignment 10
Wed 31 Oct     Assignment 11. Concert review/Liner note (complete program)
Fri 2 Nov        No class    Assignment 11

Mon 5 Nov     

Wed 7 Nov      Assignment 12. Concert review/Recording review (multiple recordings)
Fri 9 Nov         Assignment 12
Wed 14 Nov    Assignment 13. Concert review/Feature story
Fri 16 Nov       Assignment 13
Wed 28 Nov    Assignment 14. Concert review/Blog post
Fri  30 Nov      Assignment 14.
Wed 5 Dec      Assignment 15. Concert review
Fri 7 Dec         Wrap-up



Prof. Daniel R. Melamed      dmelamed (at)
Office: M325C, (85)5-8252. Office hours by appointment.
Course web page: =


In this course you will learn to write for non-specialists about music, focusing on journalistic criticism (reviews of concerts), notes for recordings and concert programs, reviews of recordings, blog posts and feature stories. We will read published criticism and notes, but will mostly spend our time discussing writings by members of the class.



The class will meet twice a week. There is an assignment for each meeting due at 5 PM the day before; i.e., Tuesday at 5 for Wednesday's class and Thursday at 5 for Friday's.

In weeks in which there are two assignments, half the class (Group 1) should do the first assignment on Wednesday and the second on Friday; the other half (Group 2) should start with the second assignment on Wednesday and then do the first on Friday.

                     Group 1  (A first, then B)                   Group 2 (B first, then A)
                   Miguel Arango Calle                            Mallory Carnes
                   Joanne Choi                                        Maria Fokina
                   Luke Hayden                                      Miguel Menendez-Pidal
                   Clara Loisch                                       Madeleine Wething
                   Chialing Pidd                       


Assignments designated "post" must be circulated to members of the class (see below for instructions). Note that a few assignments do not need to be posted.

In class we will discuss the posted writings and the issues they raise. You should read each carefully and be prepared to participate in a constructive discussion.  Please bring a copy of every text to class on paper or in electronic form.

Assignments circulated in this course are to be considered private and should not be shared with anyone else without the author's permission.

Please also submit every assignment on paper in class on its due date, both the ones you post and the others. Double space, with one-inch margins, not right-justified. Put your name and the assignment number at the top.

Keep a folder of returned, marked-up assignments, which you will be asked to submit together at the end of the semester.



Academic conduct

You may discuss assignments with classmates and others as much as you like, but all written work must be entirely your own. Every use of the work of others must be fully documented. If you violate the standards of academic conduct you will fail the course.



Please consult the instructor if you need accommodation of a disability or for religious observance, according to University policies.



A useful resource for finding published concert reviews is Lexis/Nexis.



Please post assignments by e-mail:



Peter Jacobi in the Bloomington Herald-Times
Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times

Assignment 1

Assignment 2

Assignment 3

Assignment 4

Assignment 5

Assignment 6

Assignment 7

Assignment 8

Assignment 9

Assignment 10

Assignment 11

Assignment 12

Assignment 13

Assignment 14

Assignment 15