MUSICOL 130 - Special Course
Section: 001
Term: WN 2009
Subject: Music History and Musicology (MUSICOL)
Department: Music School
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

This new course is designed for students outside the School of Music who are interested in learning about, listening to, celebrating, and thinking about opera. This is an introductory level course in music and theater, open to everyone — opera fans as well as those for whom opera will be a completely new experience. Although our primary focus is the music of opera, the course does not require musical literacy or the ability to read music. Students will learn to look at a vocal score of an opera without fear, but no training in music theory is presumed.

Through a selection of operas chosen from the whole span of the genre’s history, we will listen to, watch, and study opera critically, as music, as theater, as spectacle, as performance medium, and as cultural expression. Our focus is on viewing, listening, analyzing, and debating, rather than on the history of opera, although the works studied will be treated for the most part in chronological order. Readings will provide a varied set of approaches to operatic criticism.

Topics for Winter 2009 will include special attention to the singer’s art, and visits from legendary and contemporary opera composers and performers. Most of the lectures and assignments will involve whole operas, their musical dramaturgy, and impact and reception in performance. Composers to be studied include Berg, Bizet, Bolcom, Cavalli, Handel, Monteverdi, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, Verdi . . . and others.

The assignments in this course will involve listening to and watching operas, to be supplemented by readings from materials on reserve and written work. Grades will be based on written work and class participation.

A class “outing” to see an opera will be arranged and a two-page written “review” of the performance will be required.

MUSICOL 130 - Special Course
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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