Classical Music Exploration and Appreciation

Course InstructorSusan Anderson-Benson, musicologist, pianist and composer, has taught music since 1974.  She holds bachelor and master degrees in theory and composition, with secondary emphasis in piano, music history and African-American studies.  She studied composition with Dominick Argento, Paul Fetler and Eric Stokes, writing an opera for her Master’s thesis.  In addition, she completed extensive studies in African-American music and studies with Dr. Geneva Handy Southall.  Her doctoral area of study was ethnomusicology, with an emphasis on the music of African-Americans.  She has been active as a performer and accompanist in a variety of venues and roles for more than 40 years.  In addition, she is the program manager at the University of St. Thomas Selim Center, allowing her to help persons of all ages continue learning for a lifetime, her favorite area of education.

Course Information:  Tuesdays, April 2-May 7, 2013, 9:30-11:30 a.m., O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, UST St. Paul Campus

Course Description:  Regardless of your musical background or ability, this course will provide you with a foundation to become a more attentive listener of music of all types.  The course will help intensify your understanding of Western music by developing your critical listening skills as well as how the music fits in history, including the ethnic, religious, political, philosophical, economic and scientific influences that helped shape each historical period.  In addition, each session will include “live” music as Susan’s friends from the classical music world join her to share music from the period being studied that week.

Registration fee for the series:  $80.00 per person

To register on-line with a credit card, click on this linkhttps://webapp.stthomas.edu/eventregistration/UST/register.jsp?eventcrn=A5786

To register by check or cash through the mail or in-person, click on this link for the registration formSpring 2013 Registration Form

Link to campus mapSt. Paul Campus Map

Detailed Course Syllabus (subject to change):

April 2

Renaissance & Medieval Music

In this session, we will explore early music from the period of 200-1600 A.D.  Featured composers will include Machaut, Kassia, Hildegard of Bingen, Byrd, and Pickering.  We will also meet other important figures of the period, as well as explore important musical, social and scientific developments.

April 9

 Baroque Music

In this session, we will explore music from the period of 1600-1750 A.D.  Featured composers will include Monteverdi, Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Handel, Caccini, and Strozzi.  We will also meet other important figures of the period, as well as explore important musical, social and scientific developments.

April 16

 Classical Music

In this session, we will explore music from the period of 1750-1820 A.D.  Featured composers will include W.A. Mozart, Haydn, Saint-Georges, Anna Amalia, Martinez, and Pownall.  We will also meet other important figures of the period, as well as explore important musical, social and scientific developments.

April 23

 Classical and Romantic Music

In this session, we will explore music from the transition time between these two important periods in music history, covering the years of roughly 1800-1840 A.D.  Featured composers will include Beethoven, R. Schumann, Schubert, von Paradis, and von Weber.  We will explore the transitional nature of these composers' music, and how the Classical composers were foreshadowing the developments of the Romantic period, even as some Romantic composers were desperately clinging to the Classical period style.  We'll also meet some other important figures of the period, and will explore important social and scientific developments of this transitional time - not just for music, but the world.

April 30

 Romantic Music

In this session, we will explore music from the period of 1820-1900 A.D.  Featured composers will represent the important musical developments of the period as well as the various Nationalist schools of music from various countries (this will include composers such as Chopin, Wagner, C. Schumann, Granados, Sibelius, Rimsky-Korsakov).  Since this was also a time of great change in the world as a whole, we will also explore important social and scientific developments of the period, as well as meet some other important figures.

May 7

 Modern Music

In this session, we will explore music from the period of 1900-Present.  Featured composers will represent the important musical developments of the period as well as the new Nationalists from various countries (this will include composers such as Stravinsky, Debussy, Ives, Argento, Larsen).  Since musical development was influenced in part by scientific developments of the period, we will meet important figures of this crossover phenomenon and briefly explore why some musicians chose to go this direction rather than continuing to develop using more conventional instruments and genres.

Resources for Further Study:

Week 1:  Classical Music Exploration & Appreciation Week 1 Resources

Week 2:  The Baroque Period

Weeks 3-4:  The Classical Period

Weeks 4-5:  The Romantic Period

Week 6:  The Modern Period