Following an introduction to the meanings and purposes of music history and how it is conceived and studied, the course surveys the history of Western music and musical style from its foundations in ancient Greece through the death of Bach and Handel at the end of the Baroque era. Students explore such topics as the orgins and development of sacred and secular monophonic and polyphonic music in the Middle Ages and the continuing development of vocal and instrumental styles, genres, and forms in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The focus of each class is on detailed historical, analytical, and critical study of representative works and the issues they raise through lectures, class discussions, readings, listening, and writing assignments. Students are expected to enter the course having already learned to read music or to be prepared to quickly master this essential skill.
Prerequisites: MUS 102 and 104 or instructor permission.