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Baroque and Classical Music
MUSC 242
Spring 2013
Section: 01  

This course is a survey of Western art music from the baroque and classical periods, circa 1600-1800. This is a remarkable time in the history of Western music. Composers around 1600 suggested for the first time that the "rules" of musical composition be overthrown to express the meaning of the words. It is a time of transition and experimentation, inspired by Greek writings (musical humanism) and the idea of the power of music. Gradually, the modal system of the Renaissance gave way to modern tonality, and composers began to work with chords, related to each other within the gravitational topography of a key. The culmination of the baroque and beginning of the classical period (1720-1750) marks another period of transition. On the one hand, music connects deeply with both religious and personal expression in the works of J. S. Bach. On the other hand, new Italian composers favored simpler and more "natural" melodies. Battle lines are drawn in the French press, and the "enlightened" Prussian despot Frederick the Great puts Bach through his paces. Out of all this, a new style emerges, one that forms musical structure as drama. Haydn (a Hungarian court composer, then British star) and Mozart (a child prodigy, then one of the early musical freelancers) hit the scene. In the last decade of the 18th century, Beethoven arrives in Vienna, outduels all other pianists with his passionate improvisations, and we arrive at the cusp of musical Romanticism.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: LectureGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (MUSC)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on APR-24-2014
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