GBST 231
Music in the Global Middle Ages, ca. 500-1500 Spring 2024
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed MUS 235

Class Details

Spanning 1000 years, the period encompassing the Middle Ages (ca. 500-1500) was a time of experimentation, exploration, and growing interconnection around the world. From economic expansions to developing trade routes and from violent religious crusades to flourishing universities, cities, and courts, opportunities for cultural investment and exchange among regions in Western Europe, North Africa, and Central and East Asia were plentiful, if not always peaceful. In this seminar, we will consider how a global historical perspective shifts our understanding of music in the Middle Ages from one based on hegemonic European progress in isolation to one that reveals a multitude of influences, interactions, and interconnections among people of various cultures, races, and religions both within and outside of the European continent. In this tutorial, we will investigate a series of case studies in order to address how and where these global interconnections took place and what musical practices flourished as a result. We will give special consideration to the following topics: orality and literacy, race and difference, the politics of religion, economic power, and manuscript culture. In grappling with these topics, students will engage in weekly readings on musical and broader historical topics, listening and score analysis of key repertory in modern transcription, and study of original notation through manuscript facsimiles.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 6
Class#: 4039
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Students will write and present a 5- to 6-page paper every other week and a 1-2 page response to their partner's paper in the alternate weeks. Evaluation will be based on five papers/presentations, and five responses.
Prerequisites: Ability to read music, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Any student who expresses a strong interest in the course
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MUS 235 Division I GBST 231 Division II
WS Notes: In this tutorial course, students will write and present a 5- to 6-page paper every other week (five papers total) and a 1- to 2-page response to their partner's paper in the alternate weeks (five responses total). Through discussion in the tutorial sessions and comments on the papers, the course will place strong emphasis on developing students' critical thinking and writing skills.

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