Mozart and Beethoven: Music from 1720-1810

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Fall

The classical style especially manifest in the music of the “divine” Mozart is both complemented and sharply opposed by his younger contemporary, Beethoven; and their lives were scarcely more distant from each other than was the Enlightenment from the events of 1789 and the world of Napoleon. We will touch on the source of the classical manner in the reactions of minor figures such as Sammartini, Quantz, and the Bach sons to the learned style of J. S. Bach and then explore the operatic style that made Mozart possible. His mature works will then be set alongside both the more genteel early period and the combative and partly romantic middle style of Beethoven. Readings in cultural history will be joined by biographical and music-score study. Some experience in music theory is necessary and general historical interest is desirable for enrollment in this course. This is one of the music history component courses required for all Advanced Theory students.