Music History

Music History I
MHS 101–102; 3 s.h./term

Music History I surveys the history of Western music from Antiquity through the Baroque in the first semester, and continues through the early Romantic period in the second semester. The course emphasizes hands-on, project-oriented learning, engaging the material through primary source readings, listening, writing, group projects, class discussions, and coordinated online activities. The emphasis is on understanding the political, social, and religious trends that influence and shape music from one era to the next, and on using that knowledge to enhance the student’s and the audience’s performance experience.

Music History II
MHS 201–202; 2 s.h./term

Music History II is intended as an introduction to the most important trends and themes of the European classical music tradition. The first semester of Music History II spans the nineteenth century, beginning with the emergence of the Romantic movement and ending with the fin de siècle. Major topics include: Romanticism and its offshoots, the debates over program music, nationalism, the emergence of the classical canon, the development of compositional technique and instrumental technologies, and the role of music in society. Above all, students will study the historical continuity between the music of the nineteenth century and that which preceded and followed it, with the goal of better understanding music both familiar and strange.