Music 307: Western Music of the Classical and Romantic Eras

Note: The content of this course is now incorporated into the Senior Seminar (MU 491). This is a syllabus from a past semester when MU 307 was offered.

Instructor: Prof. David Schulenberg (dschulen@wagner.edu)
Office hours: Wednesdays, 2–2:50, and Thursdays, 10:15–11:15, Campus Hall, Rm. 110
Meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:20–12:50 p.m., Campus Hall, Rm. 104

This course, intended for music majors, explores European art music from the mid-eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries, including the styles known today as the Classical and the Romantic. It includes the symphonies of Beethoven, the operas of Mozart, Verdi, and Wagner, and the piano music of Chopin. We will focus on principal stylistic developments in the genres of opera, orchestral music, and chamber music, considering how developments in musical form and style reflected the changing expressive aspirations of composers, the performance practices of musicians, and the listening habits of audiences.

Work for the course. The most important work for this course is listening. Listening assignments (listed below) must be completed prior to each class. Recordings will be placed online where possible, but some will be accessible only on CDs on reserve in Horrmann Library.

It is important to listen to each assigned work several times. Please listen both with and without the score. At first you may have difficulty following the scores of these works, so get in the habit of marking important melodies, motives, and other points of reference in your copy of the music. If there is a verbal text (as in opera and song), please read the text in translation before listening, then follow the words in the original language whenever you listen, with or without the score.

Reading assignments provide background to the listening assignments; they also raise questions for class discussion. You will be expected to come to each class having done both the assigned reading and the assigned listening, and you should prepared to answer questions and engage in discussion of the assigned works.

Worksheets are lists of questions that are meant to guide you in your reading and listening. In most cases, the worksheet for each class will be handed out during our preceding meeting. The questions range from straightforward factual items to interpretive issues. Some worksheets will be collected and graded, and sometimes individual class members will be asked ahead of time to prepare short presentations based on one or more questions from a given worksheet. But in any case you will find it useful to fill out each worksheet before you come to class. If you do this consistently, you will find that worksheets valuable at the end of the semester for organizing your studying and summarizing what you have learned.

Written assignments include a midterm and a final examination. There will also be two short papers and one somewhat longer research paper. The latter will include an annotated bibliography and properly formatted footnotes. As noted above, some worksheets will be collected as well.

Portfolio. This is a collection of papers and other work that you assemble over the course of your studies as a Wagner music major. If you have not already begun to create a portfolio, you will do so as part of your work for Music 307. All music majors will submit a copy of their present portfolio at the end of the semester, evaluated as part of your course participation grade.

Grades and attendance. Class attendance and participation constitute 20% of the final grade, with deductions taken for unexcused absences or lateness to class. The two short papers each constitute 10%, and the two exams and the longer paper each constitute 20%. Attendance is mandatory; unexcused absences and late work will result in a reduction in grade unless alternative arrangements are made ahead of time. Because of the impracticality of creating and administering make-up tests in music, students who are excused from an exam will normally be assigned additional written work. Your concert fee for this course pays for tickets and transportation to several concerts in the New York City area; attendance at these concerts is mandatory and will be factored into your grade.

Textbooks. There are three required textbooks: Reinhard G. Pauly, Music in the Classic Period, fourth edition (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2000); Leon Plantinga, Romantic Music: A History of Musical Style in Nineteenth-Century Europe (New York: Norton, 1984); and Leon Plantinga, Anthology of Romantic Music (New York: Norton, 1984).

The following music dictionary is recommended for purchase: The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Don M. Randel (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999). For more detailed research you will use The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie, 29 vols. (London: Macmillan, 2001); online version at http://www.wagner.edu/library/electres.html (click on “Grove Music Online”)

The course calendar below lists assignments and topics. Please do the assigned reading and listening assignments prior to the beginning of each class. Except where otherwise noted, recordings and scores are on reserve at the circulation desk. In the case of works for which the anthology contains the score only for selected movements from a work, you are responsible for those movements only. For works not in the anthology, you will be told in class or on a worksheet which movements to study.

Class   Date    Topic and assignment

1          8/28    Introduction; Hasse, Cleofide
2          8/30    C.P.E. Bach, Concerto in D Minor, W. 23. Read: Pauly, pp. 1–19, 23–31
3          9/4      Haydn, Symphony in F-sharp Minor, “Farewell,” Hob. I: 45.
Read: Pauly, pp.  36–45, 54–58, 59–67, 78–90, 101–8
4          9/6      ——, Symphony in G, “Surprise,” Hob. I: 94
5          9/11    ——, String Quartet in C, op. 74, no. 1. Read: Pauly, pp. 158–66
6          9/13
7          9/18    Mozart, Piano Concerto in C, K. 467. Read: Pauly, pp. 90–99, 142–57.
First paper due
8          9/20    ——, Don Giovanni.
Read: Pauly, pp. 191–2, 203–10; and the libretto for the assigned selections
Act I, Introduzione: “Notte e giorno”
——, scene 5: Aria (Elvira), “Ah chi mi dice mai”
——, scene 9: Duettino (Zerlina, Don Giovanni): “Là ci darem la mano”
Act II, scene 7: Recitativo e Sestetto: “Sola in bujo loco”
Act II, scene 11: Recitativo e Duetto (Don Giovanni, Leporello):
“O statua gentilissima”
Act II, Finale:
scenes 13–14 (beginning), “Già la mensa è preparata”
scenes 14 (end)–15: “Ah Signor per carità”
9          9/25
10        9/27    Beethoven, Piano Sonata in D Minor, op. 31/2 (score in Anthology, p. 1).
Read: Plantinga, chap. 1 (pp. 1–22)
11        10/1    ——, Symphony no. 3 in E-flat, Eroica (score of 1st mvt. in Anthology, p. 7).
Read: Plantinga, chap. 2 (pp. 23–49)
12        10/3
[10/9   Fall break: no class]
13        10/11  ——, String Quartet no. 14 in C-sharp minor, op. 131 (score in Anthology, p.
Read: Plantinga, chap. 3 (pp. 50–78)
14        10/16
15        10/18  Schubert, Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795. Read: Plantinga, pp. 103–8, 117–26. 16        10/23  Second paper due
17        10/25  Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in E Minor, op. 64.
Read: Plantinga, pp. 220, 247–54
18        10/30  Midterm exam
19        11/1    Schumann, Dichterliebe. Read: Plantinga, pp. 221–46
20        11/6    Chopin, Ballade in G minor, op. 23 (score in Anthology, p. 197).
Read: Plantinga, pp. 173–203
21        11/8    Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, op. 14. Read: Plantinga, pp. 203–19.
Topic and bibliography for third paper due.
22        11/13  Rossini, Il barbiere di Siviglia (piano-vocal score of the quintet from Act 2 in
Anthology, p. 130).
Read: Plantinga, pp. 127–37
[11/22 Thanksgiving]
25        11/27  ——, Tristan und Isolde, prelude and Liebestod
26        11/29  Musorgsky, Boris Gudonov, original version of 1869 (piano-vocal score of
the end of Act 2 in Anthology, p. 389).
Read: Plantinga, pp. 341–3, 362–79.
Electronic version of corrected third paper due as part of portfolio.