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    Macalester College
  Feb 23, 2018
College Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MUSI 342 - Medieval to Mozart

This course traces the development of Western art music from its beginnings in the monophonic chant of early Christianity, through the development of polyphonic genres in the Renaissance (mass, motet, madrigal), to the emergence of opera in Italy around 1600 and the stylistic revolution that we now call the Baroque (including musical life in the extravagant court of Louis XIV in France and Johann Sebastian Bach’s masterful synthesis of Baroque styles), to the sophisticated, multi-movement sonata structures of late 18th century Viennese classicism. Its central concerns are: (1) to understand the place of music in social and cultural life, (2) to gain an appreciation of the musical style and rhetoric that characterizes each of the periods we study, and (3) to develop students’ abilities in communicating, in writing and the spoken word, what they have learned about this music and the culture in which it was produced. Course activities will take several forms, including lectures, musical analyses, and performances. Lectures will introduce key terms and concepts and will address broader concerns of cultural life (including composer biographies). In-class analysis and performance will lead to a more detailed understanding of key works. Examinations will test students’ retention of course listening and lecture/discussion/reading material. Essays will give students the opportunity to delve deeper into critical and musical analysis, and to sharpen their prose, specifically with respect to writing about music. The course assumes no historical knowledge of the periods in question. However, basic skills in the analysis of music are necessary.   Offered every fall semester. (4 Credits)