MUS1352: Late Romantic and Modern History
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This course covers music history from the era of Wagner, Mahler, and Strauss through the significant technological, economic, and socio-political upheavals of the 20th century. COURSE DESCRIPTION This course concerns music in which tonal procedures, as practiced during much of the Common Practice Period in Western Europe (c. 1650 – 1850), undergo great changes, both in terms of expansion and collapse. The course begins with a detailed examination of the Romantic and late Romantic traditions, and will culminate with the modern era, whose music marks a transition from late 19th century formal and tonal design to the practices that follow in the 20th century. In the course’s final weeks, we will attempt to show how deviations from traditional Western musical parameters—e.g., those of ideology and hierarchy, materials used, program, pitch, harmony, harmonic rhythm, melody, phrase and period construction, rhythm and meter, hypermeter, timbre, texture, instrumental ensemble, idiomatic performance technique and practice, formal plan and dramatic contour—defined European and American art music not only as falling within the canonic continuum of development and innovation, but simultaneously as an eclectic collection transformed and considerably influenced by non-Western aesthetic techniques, philosophy, and practice. Course methodology incorporates studies of the musicological-societal forces that shape music’s background, composition, reception, and place in history with relevant analysis drawn from music theory and social history. Class discussion will draw on readings from our textbooks, primary sources, composer and performer writings, readings on modernist rhetoric and philosophy, score study, and video/audio (and when possible, live) performances and presentations. Please note that some of the music we listen to in class will feature women singing. Those who find this problematic in terms of Jewish Halakha should let the instructor know in advance. I will make every effort to treat this issue with sensitivity, but it is critical that students understand that adherence to Halakha does not excuse them from fulfilling all coursework and assignment obligations.
Beliavsky, Daniel. (2019, Fall). MUS1352: Late Romantic and Modern History, crn11434, Yeshiva College.