MUSI4035 Special Topics in Music IV (2 units)
Topics offered will vary reflecting the special research interests of the department and student interest. Course areas may be selected from either Western or non-Western music. Before offering the course the instructor will present a full syllabus including references for Departmental approval. Some sample course areas follow:
(1) Portuguese Polyphonic Music in the 16th and 17th Centuries – the main musical centres, patrons, composers, circumstances and traditions of performance will be studied. Selected examples of surviving music from primary and secondary sources will be examined for stylistic traits and external influences.
(2) Historical Performance Practice of the Classical Period – interpretative issues in the works of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and others will be studied in light of eighteenth century sources and newly available research. Topics will include editions, sources, instruments, style (ornamentation, tempo, articulation and improvisation) and discussion of "authenticity."
(3) Early Italian Opera – the development of opera in Italy will be studied, from the works of Monteverdi to Legrenzi. Societal influences on operatic development and the changing roles of performer and composer will be examined.
(4) The Symphonies of Gustav Mahler – the symphonies of Mahler will be studied in detail, with students expected to offer an in-depth treatment of any one symphony in relation to its historical and musical context. Relationships among symphonies and between the symphonies and Mahler's song cycles will be explored.
(5) Indonesian Gamelan Music – the organisation of Indonesian Gamelan Music will be covered in detail, with discussion of organology and the functional nature of the instrumental roles in relation to the colotomic structure. Balinese and Javanese music will be compared. Indonesian tuning systems and notation will be examined.
(6) The Piano and Piano Music in the Romantic Era. This covers not only the great piano virtuoso-composers and solo piano repertory from ca. 1820-1900, but also examines the piano itself as an instrument, and its technical development over most of the century. Additionally, the course looks at the social role of the piano in public and private life, and the eventual split between composers and performers, the development of the recital, the intellectualization of music, and the impact of early recording technology.
(7) The Orchestra, 1800-1900. This course follows the development of the orchestra from Haydn to Debussy: from a historical ensemble to the (almost) modern symphony orchestra. The repertory for the orchestra is covered with a look at composers' relationships to the orchestra; the emergence of conductors; the rise of the composer-conductor; and the technical development of instruments after the industrial Revolution, are major themes as well.
(8) Three Bad Guys: Don Giovanni, Otello, Peter Grimes. This course presents opera as a musical genre for study, but also looks at the social issues surrounding the composition, performance, and modern staging of opera. The operas are linked by the theme of the 'bad guy' to draw students' attention to the difference between the opera as an instance of musical/literary composition, and the values and influence projected by specific productions which reflect social and political agendas, which in turn may or may not be latent in the musical works themselves.
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