MUSICOL 506 - Special Course
Section: 002 The 'Scarlet Thread,' a Scarlatti Project
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Music History and Musicology (MUSICOL)
Department: Music School
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
Other Course Info:
Undergraduate students elect MUSICOL 406.
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti were among the most esteemed and prolific composers of the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Their music circulated widely in Italy and across Europe, including to London and Paris, and even into the Americas. It arguably prompted paradigm shifts and accelerated a developing cult of virtuosity, so the Scarlatti project necessarily asks questions about music and celebrity. The father (Alessandro) was influential primarily in the realm of vocal music, with some 800 chamber cantatas and 120 operas, not to mention oratorios, masses, motets, instrumental music, and important partimenti. Though little-studied to date, his relationships with patrons and collaboration with other musicians (Corelli, Handel) and singers shaped the musical landscape of papal Rome and Spanish Naples. Domenico Scarlatti’s peripatetic career (Naples, Rome, Lisbon, Paris, Madrid) and fecundity (550 keyboard sonatas) have puzzled scholars because few facts are known about his life. The sonatas project a striking modernity but have never needed rediscovery because they have been championed by performers, collected, published, and appreciated from the eighteenth century into our time. This course focuses on the legacy of the Scarlattis, intent on understanding their cultural work in private and public spheres, and their embeddedness in specific early modern contexts. Students will study both modern editions and primary sources. Materials for study include unpublished music and archival documents, eighteenth- century musical publications, and readings from pertinent scholarship in music and other fields.

Course Requirements:

Discussion is essential within the format of the seminar. Collaboration and coordination with Harpsichord and Baroque Ensemble performances will be encouraged. The work of the course consists of listening to music, reading, and studying scores and images. Grades will be based on seminar presentations, written work, and class discussion.

Intended Audience:

This seminar is open to scholars, performers, singers, accompanists, composers, music theorists, and early music enthusiasts. MEMS graduate students from outside the SMTD are invited to enroll as well. Undergraduates should elect MUSICOL 506.

MUSICOL 506 - Special Course
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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