Jul 20, 2024  
College Catalog 2024-2025 
    
College Catalog 2024-2025

MUSI 425 - Late Beethoven and Critical Musicology


In this course, we will combine the close study of Ludwig van Beethoven’s late works, composed two hundred years ago, with the close reading of contemporary critical writing about this music. The course intends to deepen students’ experience with Beethoven’s music and provide an introduction to the discipline of critical musicology. The musical works we will examine include piano sonatas, string quartets, symphonies, and a setting of the Catholic (Latin) Mass. Our reading will consider these works from aesthetic, phenomenological, ethical, theological, and other critical perspectives. Our questions will include: Does this music put forth a vision of a unified, coherent experience, or an alienated, fractured one? To what extent is this music affirmative, oppositional, critical? How does late Beethoven’s musical language engage with the ideologies of Enlightenment and Romanticism? How might we characterize the ethical dimension of Beethoven’s late work? What is the role of biography in our engagement with these (and any) artworks? How might we speak of the status of Beethoven’s music today, in senses that include but also extend beyond its value as a commodity? Prerequisite(s):  MUSI 113  or permission of instructor. Offered alternate years. (4 Credits)