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Music 10400

Introduction to Music Analysis and Criticism


Autumn Quarter 2015
TTh, 10:3011:50, Goodspeed Hall 402
Instructor:
Lawrence Zbikowski
email: larry@uchicago.edu
Office: Goodspeed 207
Office phone: 773-702-8788
Office hours: Friday, 12:001:30
and by appointment

Course assistant:
Braxton Shelley
email: bdshelley@uchicago.edu

Overview of the course:


This course is an introduction to the analysis and criticism of music. The course is unique in that its
primary texts are musical recordings. An exploration of the works represented on these recordings
will be the basis for the discussion and writing undertaken in the class. Well also use the recordings
to gain insight into topics like the use of words to describe music, the strategies composers use to
shape musical works, the conditions of musical performance, interactions between music and text,
and the relationship between music and ideology. There will, of course, also be readings, but these
will for the most part be short and will be available on the Chalk site for the course.
The repertory for the course is as follows (please note that we will use specific recordings, which
are listed on p. 3):
Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas (c. 1688; opera)
Johann Sebastian Bach, St. John Passion (1724; oratorio)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Keyboard works (1780s1791; solo instrumental compositions)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral) (1808; multi-movement orchestral work)
What I expect from class members:
I expect class members to listen to the assigned compositions carefully. This will mean listening
multiple times, and with as few distractions as possible. While I shall attempt to guide listening
through assignments, listening exercises, and outlines of specific works, there is no substitute for
simply taking listening seriously: students who do so almost always develop their own strategies for
listening, and thereby discover new and interesting things about both the music and the activity of
listening to it. I expect class members to work hard at their writing, trying to capture the elusive
features of music to the best of their ability. And I expect class members to show up for class, to do
the readings, to participate in discussions, to attend the video screenings and the assigned concert,
and to turn in their work in a timely fashion.
What you will learn:
You will gain a better sense of musical organization, an awareness of the values associated with or
assigned to music, and knowledge about the historical and cultural contexts associated with the
repertory for the course. You will also learn about basic musical terms and typical genres of musical
expression. Finally, you will acquire an appreciation of the dramatic possibilities that music can offer,
the way music is used in religious contexts, and how music and words can relate to one another.

Music 10400 Syllabus, Autumn 2015, p. 2

Schedule
Week 1 (9/2910/1)
Introduction to the course; listening strategies, musical terminology, the notion of musicking.
Repertoire: Mozart, Variations on Ein Weib ist das herrlichste Ding, K. 613.
Week 2 (10/610/8)
Musical themes, relationships between tonal centers, aspects of musical form. Repertoire: Mozart,
Piano Sonatas in B flat (K. 333) and F (K. 332).
Week 3 (10/1310/15)
Musical rhetoric and improvisation; historical and cultural contexts for operas; musical and dramatic
structure. Repertoire: Mozart, Fantasie in C minor (K. 396); Purcell, Dido and Aeneas.
Listening exercise #1: 10/13
Writing assignment #1: 10/16
Week 4 (10/2010/22)
Using music to shape drama; relationships between different expressive media. Repertoire: Purcell,
Dido and Aeneas.
Week 5 (10/2710/29)
Operatic staging; introduction to the oratorio. Repertoire: Purcell, Dido and Aeneas.
N.B.: Viewing of video of Dido and Aeneas the evening of 10/26; no class on 10/29.
Listening exercise #2: 10/27
Writing assignment #2: 10/30
Week 6 (11/311/5)
Religious practice and music in the early 18th century Lutheran Germany. Repertoire: Bach, St.
John Passion.
Week 7 (11/1011/12)
The drama and liturgy of Easter. Repertoire: Bach, St. John Passion. N.B.: Viewing of video of
St. John Passion the evening of 11/11.
Listening exercise #3: 11/12
Week 8 (11/1711/19)
Orchestral music in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; audiences and performance in early
nineteenth-century Vienna; program music. Repertoire: Beethoven, Symphony no. 6 (Pastoral).
Writing assignment #3: 11/16
Required concert: University of Chicago Presents, Friday 20 November, 7:30 p.m.: Kristian
Bezuidenhout, fortepiano ($5.00 student tickets)
Week 9 (11/2411/26)
Musical mimesis. No class on 11/26Thanksgiving! Repertoire: Beethoven, Symphony no. 6.
Week 10 (12/1)
The development of musical materials; orchestration and orchestral music; further adventures in
musical form. Repertoire: Beethoven, Symphony no. 6. Listening exercise #4: 12/1
Writing assignment #4 will be due on Wednesday, 9 December, at 1:00 p.m.

Music 10400 Syllabus, Autumn 2015, p. 3

Policies:
Late assignments are not accepted for grade.
Your final grade will be determined on the basis of the following distribution:
Listening exercises (four total)
Short written assignments
Concert review + papers (four)
Participation

20%
10%
50%
20%

Required Purchases
You must purchase four recordings for the class; you need purchase no books. It will be simplest for
you to buy the recordings from iTunes or similar vendor, as youll be able to get them pretty much
instantly. Please note that you must obtain these exact recordings, as other versions will have
different timings, and a portion of our class discussion will be concerned with the interpretations
made by these particular performers on these particular recordings. Here are the iTunes searches
that you can use to find the recordings that we shall use:
1. Mozart, Keyboard Music, Vol. 3, (Kristian Bezuidenhout, fortepiano; harmonia mundi [HMU
907499)
iTunes search: Bezuidenhout keyboard, a number of volumes show up, you want volume
3: $9.99
2. Purcell, Dido and Aeneas (Nicholas McGegan, director, with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Lisa Saffer,
Michael Dean, the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra;
Harmonia Mundi France [HMU 907110])
iTunes search: purcell dido McGegan, sole hit: $9.99
3. Bach, St. John Passion (John Eliot Gardiner: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir
[SDG712])
iTunes search:gardiner st. john passion padmore, sole hit: $19.99
4. Beethoven, Sixth Symphony (John Eliot Gardiner, director; the Orchestre Rvolutionnaire et
Romantique, Archiv Produktion [477 8643complete symphonies])
iTunes search: gardiner beethoven pastoral, four hits, you want only Beethoven:
Symhonies [sic] Nos. 5 & 6: $9.99 [If, for some reason, you only want to purchase the
recordings of the sixth symphony thats fine, although well probably make reference to the
fifth in our discussions. And, really, you should have a recording of it anyway.]

Music 10400 Syllabus, Autumn 2015, p. 4

Assignment for Thursday, October 1:


1. Read Christopher Small, Prelude: Music and Musicking, from Musicking: The Meanings of Performing
and Listening (Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1998),1-18; available in
the Text Materials folder in the Course Documents section of the Chalk pages for the course.
Prepare answers to these questions for class discussion:
What is included in Smalls definition of musicking? What is not included in that
definition? (Another way to put this second question would be What kinds of humanlyproduced sounds wouldnt be included in musicking?)
Smalls book was published in an era before mp3s and streaming were a feature of the
musical landscape. How has the readyperhaps even instantavailability of recorded
sound changed musicking?
2. Listen to Kristian Bezuidenhouts recording of Mozarts Variations on Ein Weib ist das
herrlichste Ding (K. 613) and answer these questions (to be handed in):
Which variation did you find the most interesting (for whatever reason)? What musical factors
contributed to your choosing this variation? Dont worry if you dont have precise language
to describe these factors, but focus as carefully as you can on the musical sounds to see if
you can capture why they made this variation particularly worthy of your attention. N.B.: you
may find that you need to listen to part or all of recording a number of times to answer this
question.
Where would you locate the dramatic focus of this set of variations? (Note that your answer
to this question may have no overlap with your answer to the first question.) You should not
only identify the specific variation, but (to the extent you can) you should describe why this
variationor even a particular section of the variationis the dramatic focus.
3. Listen to Bezuidenhouts recordings of Mozarts piano sonatas in Bb (K. 333) and F (K. 332), each
of which has three movements. Be prepared to discuss how the movements of each sonata are
different from one another. (This does not need to be written up or handed in, although (a) you may
want to make notes for your own purposes and (b) you may have to listen to part or all of the
sonatas to accurately describe the differences between their constituent movements.)