Music History

A number of electives in Music History are offered on a regular basis.  They include:

Music 137: Western Philosophy in Four Operas 1600-1900
Professor Gary Tomlinson
This course intensively studies four operas central to the western repertory, spanning the years from the early 17th to the late 19th century: Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Wagner’s Die Walküre (from The Ring of the Nibelungs), and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. 

Music 175: Listening to Music
Professor Brian Kane
Development of aural skills that lead to an understanding of Western music. The musical novice is introduced to the ways in which music is put together and is taught how to listen to a wide variety of musical styles, from Bach and Mozart, to Gregorian chant, to the blues.

Music 180: History of Rock
Professor Daniel Harrison
A survey of major styles, genres, and artists in popular commercial music ca. 1960-2010. Analysis of individual songs, albums, and repertories, supported by study of cultural contexts, careers and biographies, and developments in the recording industry.

Music 189: Music & Jane Austen
Professor Jessica Peritz
This course takes Jane Austen as a guide to the world of early nineteenth-century music culture in Britain, exploring through her novels the relationships between music, gender, and class in the decades around 1800. 

Music 350: History of Western Music: Middle Ages and Renaissance
Professor Anna Zayaruznaya
A detailed investigation of the history of musical style from A.D. 900 to 1600.

Music 351: Music in European Court, Church, and Theater, 1600-1800
A detailed investigation of the history of musical style from 1600 to 1800.

Music 352: The European Art Music Tradition, 1800-1950
A detailed investigation of the history of musical style from 1800 to the present.

Music 455: A History of Music Notation
Professor Anna Zayaruznaya
The history of music notation is intimately linked with the histories of musical composition and performance. This course combines a study of musical paleography (i.e. how music is written down) with consideration of the historical and intellectual currents that shaped, and were shaped by, systems of music writing. 

Music 458: Sex and Sensibility in Early Opera
Professor Jessica Peritz
This seminar investigates historical ideas about the body through the lens of opera in the 17th and 18th centuries. We will study twentieth- and twenty-first-century scholarship on sexuality, gender, the body, and music history alongside scientific, philosophical, and musical primary sources from c.1600–1800.

Music 459: 19th-Century Opera and Representation
Professor Gundula Kreuzer
By looking at all of opera’s complex media—libretti, music, voice types, design, stage technology, architecture, etc.—this seminar addresses various forms and techniques of representation related to such issues as gender, sexuality, class, race, nationalism, (dis)ability, the rise of the masses as a political agent, and the operatic genre itself as a vehicle of colonialism. 

Music 461: Women and Western Art Music
Professor Gundula Kreuzer
An exploration of the representation of, involvement in, and discourse around women in (and around) Western art music.