This course explores the development of Western music throughout the Renaissance period, stretching from the 1400s to the 1600s. It examines the historical, cultural, and sociological factors that contributed to the musical changes of the time. Throughout the course, students will focus on three aspects: 1. the accumulation of information through the examination of a sample selection of prominent or representative musical works; 2. the analysis of that data through careful study, in-class discussion, and critical readings; and 3. the presentation and defense of that analysis through class presentations and a written research assignment.
This course has two complementary objectives.
- Provide students with a historically-informed sample of musical genres and styles produced by the Western world during the period in question.
- Reinforce students’ critical thinking, analytical, and presentation skills.
By the end of the course, students will be able to have a firm grasp on the essential musical works, composers, and genres throughout the period. In addition, by drawing on key musical features identified through analysis, they will be able to hypothesize about a work’s:
- Historical genesis (the composer’s probable compositional process, the composer’s patron, etc.),
- Performance conditions (the aesthetic values in which a work was likely produced, the apparent circumstances of a work’s premiere, etc.),
- Audience (public, private, etc.),
- Probable composer, and
- Probable composition date.
Finally, students will be able to successfully defend their own analyses and interpretations about a given work.
This course may incur additional charges.
Course Materials and Lab Fee
A course reader with all the required readings will be available at a local copy shop for 20 €.