How have composers after Bach engaged with his legacy? This seminar will trace the course of the Classical and early Romantic period “Bach Revival” through Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Clara and Robert Schumann, and explore how he was venerated in the later Romantic era by Brahms and Busoni. Our main focus, however, will be on how composers of the modern era have viewed him and used his music. We will test critical conceptual frameworks offered by David Lowenthal’s “The Past is a Foreign Country” and Harold Bloom’s “The Anxiety of Influence,” using them as lenses through which to view contemporary classical composers’ Bach-inspired creations, ranging from Schoenberg and Webern through Sophia Gubaidulina, George Crumb, and David Lang. Finally, we will consider both the musical techniques and meanings of reworkings and quotations of Bach’s music in film, jazz and popular music.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on several papers totaling at least 20 pages, presentations, and class participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: MUS 103-104, and two from MUS 231, 232, or 233 (or equivalents). MUS 201-202 and MUS 231 and/or 233 highly recommended
Enrollment Preference: junior and senior Music majors
Distributions: Division I; Writing-Intensive;