MUS 234
Soundscapes of Renaissance Europe Fall 2022
Division I

Class Details

What was the sonic experience of living in late-medieval and early-modern Europe? This course will explore the sights and sounds of daily life for cultural elites as well as the average urban resident. Although it is often vocal polyphony that first comes to mind when thinking about Renaissance music, acoustic environments were complex, noisy, and diverse. This course aims to reflect that heterogeneity: topics include bells, processions, music and architecture, instrumental music, plainchant, visual depictions of music-making, and uses of music to project power, as well as sacred and secular vocal polyphony. Students will zoom in on cities, courts, and churches, especially the musical centers of Bruges, Florence, Ferrara, the Imperial Court of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and Bavaria. The course will examine music by some of the most important composers of the era, including Guillaume Du Fay, Josquin des Prez, Philippe Verdelot, Nicolas Gombert, and Orlando di Lasso.
The Class: Format: lecture; Meeting twice per week. Class discussion will be central to this course.
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1889
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: in-class preparation and participation, short mid-term paper, final presentation, and final paper
Prerequisites: ability to read musical notation
Enrollment Preferences: music majors, those planning to major in music, or any student with a strong interest in music or Renaissance Europe
Distributions: Division I

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