Music in Nineteenth Century Europe
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Course Number: NMUS 3515
Course Format: Seminar
Permission Required: No
Composers in the 19th century were reacting to many factors – the Industrial Revolution, the rise of the middle class, and the emergence of Nationalism, to name but a few. This led to the creation of music that was subjective, unhappy with past formulas, and autobiographical – a reaction against the reason and balance of the Classical era. A rapid succession of new techniques and styles dominated the music world, eventually heralding Modernism at the turn of the 20th century. Works discussed, in the context of the history and art of the time, will include Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Brahms' A German Requiem, Chopin's piano works, songs and piano pieces by Franz Schubert and Clara and Robert Schumann, chamber music by Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, and Verdi's La Traviata. The course concludes with the emergence of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), a uniquely modern combination of music, performance, and visual culture, as seen in the operas of Wagner. Students will be expected to listen to music online through the New School databases and youtube links, and to discuss these works in the context of the assigned readings.
Course Open to: Degree Students