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MUS 121-35,37 Music in Society

Course Materials | MUS 121-35 Ten-Week Course Plan (PDF file) | MUS 121-37 Fourteen-Week Course Plan (PDF file) | Getting Started

Many of us spend our life listening to music, whether aware or unaware. Music surrounds us, fills the airwaves and influences us in so many ways. What is the definition of music? After all, what is “music” to one's ears may not be music to another's. Where does music come from? Why does music sound the way it does? How is the music of today linked to the past? Why should pop musicians be grateful to Bach?

This class provides an overall understanding of music, an overall appreciation for its past, present and potential future. Music has always had an impact on its listeners and has been used to promote the ideals of different civilizations. Like architecture, literature and art, music has evolved over the centuries…a living mirror and history of man's evolution and philosophy which has the power to reveal to our “modern” ears the sounds of the past: mysticism, reverence, love, passion, joy, sorrow and celebration.

Come and share this common musical thread and discover how much we have in common with those of long ago. It is in understanding this past that we can put into perspective our musical present.

Course Materials

To be purchased at the College Bookstore: OnMusic Appreciation Fourth Edition

Course Materials


Getting Started

Registering Access Code:

  • Acquire RedShelf's OnMusic Appreciation fourth edition 16-digit Access Code from the NRCC Bookstore. Used copies will not work.
  • Redeem your 16-digit code on the RedShelf website to obtain the 14-digit Connect for Education access code needed to register for this course.
  • Go to RedShelf at https://redshelf.com to create an account. Once you have your account, enter your 16-digit code. You will receive a 14-digit access code to register for the course in Canvas.
  • Go to the course in Canvas, click on Modules, and then click the Connect 4 Education link. Then just register your course access code.
  • From this point forward, you will access the entire course using that Connect 4 Education link. That is all there is to it!


  • Acquaint yourself with the Course Information section under Modules before starting the class.
  • Follow the course schedule to stay on target with deadlines.
  • Check regularly course announcements in CANVAS and your CANVAS inbox to access all communications from your instructor.
  • Contact your instructor with any questions or concerns. Professor Billaud quickly responds and eagerly looks forward to helping you!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: What is the purpose of this course?
    A: Understand and recognize the role of art music within the context of society throughout Western history. Enhance knowledge of significant musicians and musical works. Identify various components within a composition or performance that influence the overall listening experience.
  • Q: Is this course transferable?
    A:This course meets the general education requirement at many universities. Music courses and the transferability chart (TVA Transfer Table) are available in the Transfer Virginia folder. Please check the university you plan to transfer to in order to ensure its transferability.
  • Q: Why take these courses at New River?
    A: New River Community College has been a leader in online learning courses. The instructor is passionate and knowledgeable about music and desires to instill that same passion and knowledge to her students through the interactive forum of online education.
  • Q: Who is this class designed for?
    A: This class is designed for the student who feels comfortable working online and who needs the convenience of taking a course outside of the normal lecture time due to work related, family or physical restraints.
  • Q: Is this course entirely online? Can I be somewhere else and still take this course?
    A:Yes, it is entirely online and can “attended” from anywhere!

Music Department Contact Information

General questions and requests about the Music department should be directed to Louise A. Billaud 1-866-462-6722, extension 4351, or (540) 674-3600, extension 4351.
You may also email lbillaud@nr.edu.

Music Department Faculty

Call (540) 674-3600 or toll-free 1-866-462-6722, then you will be prompted to add the extension number to reach any employee.

Louise Billaud


Professor of Music

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  •  5251 College Drive
  •  Dublin, VA 24084
  •  (540) 674-3600
  •  Toll Free: 866-462-6722
  •  Fax: (540) 674-3642
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  •  782 New River Road NW, Suite 400
  •  Christiansburg, VA 24073
  •  (540) 674-3610
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