Music 241: Bach and Handel

This is a syllabus from a previous semester in which the course was offered.
Instructor: Professor David Schulenberg
Meetings: Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:40-6:10 p.m., Campus Hall, Rm. 104
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:30-3:30; Wednesdays, 3-4:30, Campus Hall 110
Click here for guidelines on paper formats, (including footnotes and bibliographies) in college papers.
This course provides an introduction to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). It is open to music majors and to non-music majors who have taken Music 101 (Rudiments of Music), Music 102 (Introduction to Music Literature), or the equivalent. Students are not required to have extensive instruction or experience in music, music theory, or music notation. Those who do possess some familiarity with musical notation or performance will have oportunities to apply their skills in the written work for the course.
Course objectives. Music 241 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
In keeping with the more specific goals of the Music Department, it also promotes
• 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
Studying and writing about music at the level envisaged for this course is unusually challenging, in recognition of which Music 241 may be offered in Spring 2010 as a non-majors honors course
Work for the course includes reading, listening, two short papers, two quizzes, and a final examination. In addition, each student will give a class presentation relating to the second paper.
Listening to the assigned recordings is the most important work. Papers and examinations will be based primarily on the listening assignments. Assigned recordings will be placed on reserve in Horrmann Library and can be heard there. These recordings will circulate for a two-hour period and may be taken to your room, the computer lab, or other on-campus facility for listening.
Reading assignments are from the texts listed below. In addition, you should read the texts (lyrics) for the vocal works studied during the semester. These texts are included in the packaging for each recording or will placed on reserve separately.
Malcolm Boyd, Bach, 3d edition (New York: Oxford, 2000).
Christopher Hogwood, Handel (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1988).
In addition, the following music dictionary is recommended for purchase:
    The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music, ed. Don M. Randel (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).
Grades and attendance. The final grade will be based on the two papers (15% each), two quizzes (15% each), and final examination (30%). Class attendance and participation are worth 10%. Attendance is mandatory; unexcused absences and late work will result in a reduction in grade unless alternative arrangements are made ahead of time. Music majors will be expected to draw on their more advanced knowledge of music and music theory in their papers.
Music reference books. The Library possesses a number of reference works that will provide assistance with unfamiliar terms and names. The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music, listed above as a recommended purchase, is useful for brief discussions of names and terms. For more in-depth discussion, consult the following:
    The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d edition, ed. Stanley Sadie, 29 vols. (London: Macmillan, 2001).
For a one-volume encyclopedia-style reference that includes separate entries for every work by Bach, consult the following book, which includes entries for the types of musical composition, instruments, and other items applicable to Handel as well as Bach:
Malcolm Boyd, ed., The Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).
Individual compositions by the two composers are often referred to by numbers: “BWV” numbers for Bach and “HWV” numbers for Handel. These numbers are drawn from standard German catalogs of the two composers’ respective works. Our library does not possess these catalogs. However, the articles on Bach and Handel in the New Grove Dictionary include comprehensive lists of the works of both composers. These work-lists include the catalog numbers from the items listed below:
Wolfgang Schmieder, Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke Johann Sebastian Bachs, 2d ed. (Wiesbaden): Breitkopf und Härtel, 1990).
Bernd Baselt, Händel-Handbuch, 5 vols. (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1978-).
Editions of music. For those able to read musical notation, it will be important to consult reliable editions of both composers’ works. Many editions, especially those intended for use by students, contain altered or inaccurate scores. It is therefore essential to consult so-called scholarly or Urtext editions.In the nineteenth century, German scholars prepared multi-volume Urtext editions of the complete works of both Bach and Handel. These editions are now referred to as the Bachgesamtausgabe (BG, or The Collected Bach Edition) and the Deutsche Händel-Gesellschaft edition (HG, or the edition of the German Handel Society). Since the 1950s, new modern editions of both composers’ works have been in progress. These editions are called the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (NBA, or New Bach Edition) and the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe (HHA, Halle Handel Edition).
Unfortunately, our library possesses only a few volumes from one of these editions (the NBA). It also possesses a small number of volumes reprinted from the old BG edition. I will place some of my own scores on reserve. However, students should consult me about any scores used for study purposes or for writing papers.
The course calendar below lists assignments and topics. All compositions listed will be available on recordings that will be placed on reserve. You should listen to each recording, and also do each reading assignment, prior to the class meeting for which it is listed. In the case of vocal works, you should also read the text (in translation) prior to class.
Key: JSB = Bach; GFH = Handel; H: = Hogwood, Handel (book); B = Boyd, Bach (book)

1 1/19 Introduction. Read H:11-29
2 1/24 GFH: Sonata in D minor for flute and continuo, HWV 367a. Read H: 30-48
3 1/26 GFH: Giulio Cesare, HWV 17. Read H: 49-69, 76-89
4 1/31
5 2/2
6 2/7 JSB: Cantata Gottes Zeit, BWV 106. Read B:1-34
7 2/9
8 2/14 First quiz
9 2/16 JSB: Brandenburg Concerto no. 2, BWV 1047. B:34-45, 70-91
2/21 [no class–Monday class schedule]
10 2/22
11 2/23 GFH: Harpsichord Suite in E, HWV 430. Read H: 70-75
12 2/28 JSB: Invention in F, BWV 779 and JSB: Prelude and Fugue in C Minor from Well-Tempered Clavier, Pt. 1, BWV 847. Click here to listen to the two movements of another work that may be discussed in class: Bach’s Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903, performed by Prof. Schulenberg on the harpsichord. Read B: 101-9, 46-69
13 3/2 JSB: Prelude and Fugue in E minor for organ, BWV 548 (“the Wedge”). First paper due
3/7, 10 [no class–spring break]
14 3/14 JSB: Cantata Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 127. Read B: 110-49
15 3/16
16 3/21
17 3/23Second quiz
3/28 [no class–Easter Monday]
18 3/30 GFH: Messiah, HWV 56. Read H: 90-139
19 4/4 Read H:140-77, 220-31. Paper topic due
20 4/6 JSB: Saint John Passion, BWV 245. Read B: 152-60
21 4/11
22 4/13 Paper outline due. Student presentations
23 4/18 Student presentations
24 4/20 JSB: B-Minor Mass, BWV 232. B: 161-75, 201-9, 176-91
25 4/25
26 4/27 Second paper due
27 5/2 review
exams 5/5-9