Music 208: Music History of the Late Renaissance and Baroque

Instructor: Prof. David Schulenberg
Office: Campus Hall, Rm. 110
Class meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:20-12:50. Campus Hall, Rm. 104
Office hours (subject to change): TBA, Campus Hall, Rm. 110
Click here for a guide to style and format (including footnotes and bibliographies) in college papers.
For links to area concert listings, click here.
This course, intended for music majors, explores European music from about 1550 to 1750. We will study music ranging from the motets of Lassus and Palestrina to the operas of Monteverdi, Lully, and Handel, the sonatas and concertos of Corelli and Vivaldi, and the instrumental and vocal music of Bach. Along the way we will touch on issues of musical performance, and together with standard repertory we will study lesser-known compositions, including music by women composers. You will also hear in-class performances of harpsichord music by Bach and others.
Work for the course. The most important work for this course is listening. Listening should be done both with and without the score. If there is a verbal text, as in opera, you should read the text in translation before listening, then follow the words in the original language while listening.
Course objectives. Music 208 is intended to meet Wagner College’s goals of promoting:
• critical thinking and reflective practice
• an appreciation of and sensitivity to the arts;
• knowledge in depth and skill in a scholarly discipline, or, more specifically:
• familiarity with a variety of musical repertories
• ability to analyze melody, counterpoint, form, and other aspects of music
• ability to carry out research and writing in music
Reading assignments provide background to the listening assignments and raise questions for class discussion. I will expect that when you come to class you will have done both the assigned reading and the assigned listening. At many classes I will distribute worksheets containing questions about the next reading and listening assignment. These worksheets are intended to help you prepare for the next class. Some worksheets will be collected and graded, so be sure to come to class prepared to answer or discuss any question on each worksheet.
Other written assignments include a quiz, a midterm, and a final examination consisting of short-answer questions about the listening assignments. There are also three short written assignments. The quiz and the exams are open-book: you may use your own class notes and your own copies of the textbooks, worksheets, and other written assignments.
I will also expect you to attend concerts in Manhattan and elsewhere. Tickets for these concerts are paid for by Wagner College from your lab fees. Three required concerts relating directly to this course are listed on the attached course calendar. If you are unable to obtain one of these concerts, you may substitute another with my permission, but tickets for substituted concerts will not be paid for.
Attendance in class is mandatory. Exceptions are permissible for valid excuses or, in special instances, by pre-arrangement with me.
Textbooks. There are two required textbooks: David Schulenberg, Music of the Baroque, 2d edn. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); and idem, Music of the Baroque: An Anthology of Scores, 2d edn. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).
Grades. Class participation constitutes 10% of the final grade. The three written assignments and the quiz each constitute 10%, the midterm 20%, and the final exam 30%. In addition, a reduction of 5% will be taken for each unexcused absence from class or from a concert trip, and for failure to turn in worksheets when collected.
The course calendar below lists the topics of all class meeting. Listening and reading assignments should be done before the class meeting for which each topic is listed! (This is the calendar from when the course was last taught; it will be updated for the present academic year.)

Class Date Read* Topic**
1 1/20 1 introduction; Palestrina: Dum complerentur
2 1/25 2 Lassus: Timor et tremor
3 1/27 Gesualdo: Belta poi che t’assenti; Monteverdi: Luci serene
4 2/1 3 Cavalieri et al.: La Pellegrina; Caccini: Sfogava con le stelle
5 2/3 4 Monteverdi: Orfeo
6 2/8 Monteverdi: Il combattimento
quiz Feb. 8
7 2/10 6 Strozzi: Ardo in tacito foco
8 2/15 A. Scarlatti: Correa nel seno amato; Purcell: From Rosy Bowers
first paper due Feb. 15
9 2/15 5 Lully: Armide
2/22 no class–Monday schedule
10 2/24 (Lully, continued)
11 3/1 7 G. Gabrieli: In ecclesiis
12 3/3 Schütz: Herr, neige and Saul, Saul
3/8, 10 spring break
13 3/15 Handel: Orlando
14 3/17
15 3/22 J. S. Bach: Cantata 127
16 3/24 8 (Bach Cantata 127, continued)
17 3/29 9 second quiz March 29
18 3/31 10 Frescobaldi: Toccata IX (Bk. 1)
19 4/5 Buxtehude: Praeludium in A Minor
20 4/7 11 Froberger: Suite X
concert report due Apr. 7
21 4/12 Jacquet: prelude from Suite III; Couperin: Vignt-unième ordre
22 4/14 12 J. S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier, pt. 1, Prelude and Fugue in G
23 4/19 Corelli: Trio Sonata in D, op. 2, no. 1
24 4/21 13 —–: Concerto grosso in G minor, op. 6, no. 8
second paper due Apr. 21
25 4/26 Vivaldi: Violin Concerto in E, op. 3, no. 12
26 4/28 J. S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto no. 2
27 5/3 review for final
final examination

*numbers refer to chapters in Schulenberg, Music of the Baroque
**page numbers refer to scores and commentaries in Schulenberg, Music of the Baroque: An Anthology of Scores