2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 26, 2022  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MUSC 101 - Bach and Before: Studies in Music before 1750

This course explores European music from the Middle Ages through the Baroque period, or from the 10th century AD to ca. 1750. This broad swath of music history encompasses a fascinating variety of music: Gregorian Chant, Medieval polyphony, the Renaissance a capella style, the birth of opera, and the culminating achievements of the High Baroque.
Through a mix of listening, reading, discussion, and assignments of various types, the course explores how music evolved and participated in major cultural, historical and social transitions between the Middle Ages and the Age of Absolutism. Several final weeks of the semester are devoted to the greatest musical figure of the mid-18th century, Johann Sebastian Bach.
We will weave elements of cultural studies, historical and social context, and aesthetics into the mix. Themes will include the impact of new technologies on music (changing systems of music notation and rhythmic control, music printing, and instrument design), competing notions of music as order and/or emotion, and the performance of extreme states of emotion, tragedy and power in Baroque music.
Previous musical experience and the ability to read music are helpful, but not required. Curiosity about music and the willingness to listen deeply to a range of musical styles are, however, absolutely necessary.

Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) Designation: HP

Anticipated Terms Offered: Offered periodically