Main menu

Graduate Music History Seminars Fall 2014

Shostakovich

MU 552-01
Credits: 3
Prequisites: Writing About Music, Music History 2 (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Monday 10:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Marchand

Course Description

This course will be an in-depth examination of the life and works of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) through the contextual and historical lenses of politics, biography, and reception. Course objectives include gaining an overall familiarity with Shostakovich's oeuvre, and producing an independent research and writing project that explores Shostakovich's music and/or major contextual issues.

 
 


The German Passion Tradition

MU 552-02
Credits: 3
Prequisites: Writing About Music, Music History 1 (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Wednesday 10:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Andrew Shryock

Course Description
This course is a study of German language settings of the Passion story. These works represent the height of sacred music composition in the 17th and 18th century in Germany. This course aims to survey major figures and works. It also seeks to encourage students to be critical and informed thinkers, listeners, and performers of German sacred music of the seventeenth and eighteenth century.



Britten

MU 552-03
Credits: 3
Prequisites: Writing About Music, Music History 2 (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Thursday 10:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Seitz

Course Description
Benjamin Britten dominated the world of English art music in the 20th century. While he rejected the post-war radical avant-garde approach to art music, his music is nonetheless challenging and rich, yet accessible to the public at large. This class will explore Britten’s unique compositional voice in the 20th century as well as his relationship to his musical past and his assimilation of foreign cultures.



The Symphony in the Romantic Era

MU 552-04
Credits: 3
Prequisites: Writing About Music, Music History 2 (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Thursday 10:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Abbate

Course Description
The generation of symphonic composers immediately after Beethoven famously struggled to compose in the shadow of his achievements. Further, though, they each brought a highly individual sensibility to their symphonic writing, colored by their work in other genres as well as by the ideas of the Romantic period. After a look at the three most influential Beethoven symphonies (5, 6, and 9), we will study symphonic works of Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, and Liszt. We will consider the influence of—respectively—song, piano works, choral works, drama, and overtures on their symphonic styles and structures, as well as the ways in which they avoided the shadow of Beethoven and found their unique symphonic voices. The course will end with a look at some later followers of Beethoven—Brahms, Mahler, and Bruckner.



Ravel

MU 559-01
Credits: 1.5
Prequisites: Writing About Music, Music History 2 (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Tuesday 10:00–12:50, weeks 1–7
Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Seitz 

Course Description
This seven week course will explore the music of Maurice Ravel within cultural milieu at the turn of the century. Although often placed within the stylistic classification of Impressionism, Ravel’s music is very different from that of his more well-known contemporary, Claude Debussy. Beginning with his songs written at the time of Conservatoire days and ending with his eloquent response to WWI and its aftermath, this class will touch upon each genre in which Ravel wrote. 

 

Victoria

MU 559-02
Credits: 1.5
Prequisites: Writing About Music, Music History 1 (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Tuesday 10:00–12:50, weeks 8–14
Instructor: Dr. Andrew Shryock

Course Description
This course is a study of the music of Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria. It aims to survey his works – arranged by the publication in which they appeared – and the major genres in which he composed. Additionally, it seeks to equip students to undertake source studies and encourage them to be critical and informed thinkers, listeners, and performers of music of the second half of the 16th century.

 

Bel Canto Opera: International Perspectives in the 19th Century

MU 559-03
Credits: 1.5
Prequisites: Writing About Music and Opera History Survey
Meeting: Wednesday 1:00–2:50, weeks 1–7
Instructor: Karen Ruymann 

Course Description
This course investigates Bel Canto Opera by looking at its foundations in 18th-century Italian Opera Seria and by examining the explosion of topical works beginning with Rossini, through Bellini, and Donizetti, and then survey “other” composers who contributed to this repertoire. Students will explore the singers/pedagogues who helped develop and exploit this repertoire to promote their careers. We will then investigate the changing aesthetic environment which caused the demise of the Bel Canto Opera and question the resurgence of this repertoire after the mid-20h century. 

 


Classicism and Neo-Classicism in Opera

MU 559-04
Credits: 1.5
Prequisites: Writing About Music and Opera History Survey
Meeting: Wednesday 1:00–2:50, weeks 8–14
Instructor: Karen Ruymann 

Course Description
This course will survey opera written by composers associated with the Classic Era and then leap forward to operas written in the early 20th century through the present day in which the musical language refers to this earlier style. The construction of representative repertoire will be studied from formal, theoretical, and hermeneutic perspectives.> 

Back to top