WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2011-2012       Home       Archive       Search
Music of the 19th Century
MUSC 243
Fall 2011
Section: 01  

This course is a survey of European music from the Romantic period, circa 1800-1900. Works from this period extend the boundaries of musical expression. Instrumental forms enact monumental dramas in works by Beethoven. Lyricism, longing, alienation, and madness find voice in songs by Schubert and Schumann. Lyricism joins with dance in piano pieces by Schumann and Chopin. The singing voice itself is fetishized in operas by Rossini. Music is linked with nationalist mythology in Wagner's music dramas and with nationalist politics in Verdi's operas. Music by Brahms is nostalgic, melancholic, and transcendent. Music tells stories in the programmatic tone poems of Liszt and Strauss. The foundations of tonality disintegrate at the end of the century as music reaches for ever-more-intense forms of expression. This course will explore both the what and the how of musical expression in the 19th century. In the United States, these trends are reflected, amplified, and occasionally denied. We will get to know representative works by the major composers of the century and works from each of the most significant genres. We will explore the notion of musical narrative and how musical meaning combines with that of words. We will develop our own interpretations and find out how other listeners, from the 19th century and beyond, have interpreted and understood this vibrant repertoire.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
Class discussion and written assignments will sharpen each student's interpretive faculties.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (MUSC)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-24-2014
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459