MUS 134
Myth in Music
Last Offered Spring 2008
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed MUS 134 / COMP 134
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Orpheus, Prometheus, Faust, and Don Juan–these figures have captured the imagination of writers, artists, and composers throughout history. This course explores how prominent myths of western civilization have found expression in a broad variety of musical works, e.g., operas by Claudio Monteverdi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hector Berlioz, Jacques Offenbach, and Carl Orff; songs by Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Hugo Wolf; ballets by Ludwig van Beethoven and Igor Stravinsky; symphonic poems by Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss; Broadway musicals by Richard Adler (Damn Yankees, 1955), John Maxwell Taylor (Faustorama, 1993), and Randy Newman (Faust, 1993); and mixed-media projects by Libby Larsen (Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, 1990), Manfred Stahnke (Orpheus Kristall, 2001), and Rinde Eckert (Orpheus X, 2006). In studying such works, we will probe an array of questions, including: Why have certain myths proven especially appealing to composers? What accounts for their musical longevity? How have myths been adapted to different musical genres and styles, and for what purpose? How do the works reflect the historical cultures in which they originated? How have they engaged with different social, political, artistic, and intellectual concerns?
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 3661
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, three 7- to 8-page papers (with revisions), and a final presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: students with a demonstrated interest in literature or music
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MUS 134 Division I COMP 134 Division I
Attributes: MUS Group A Electives

Class Grid

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