Genre Studies - Sinfonia, Symphony, Symphonic Poem, 1600-1900

Course Number: 480*/3.0 3S (Course Code Explanation)

Open To: B.Mus. and B.Mus./B.Ed. students, non-B.Mus. students

Area(s): Musicology/Ethnomusicology

Instructor(s): Dr. Clara Marvin

Term(s): A

Day(s) and Time(s): T: 8.30-10.00, F: 10.00-11.30

Room: GGSR

Calendar Description

An intensive study of the development of a particular musical genre. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of significant contributions to the genre and the place of the genre in the total cultural milieu of a given period. Content varies from year to year. Enrolment is limited.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s) / Exclusion(s)

  • PREREQUISITES: MUSC 291; MUSC 103* plus any one of MUSC 203*, MUSC 204* or MUSC 205*, or permission of the School

Additional Information

This course explores the evolution of form and content in works written for a range of related instrumental media ca.1600-1900 that historically have been designated by the terms sinfonia, symphony and symphonic poem. Through the review of musical examples, class participants will examination how these instrumental types shifted gradually in function and purpose. Originally relatively short works, ancillary in nature, with a preludial, introductory or ritornello function, symphonies eventually became independent entities and rose as the chief genre of public instrumental music. They also evolved in status from that of bright, elegant entertainments to exalted purveyors of non-verbal psychological, philosophical and even literary discourse. The course will examine what these genres were used for over time, as well as how and why they acquired their range of shapes and special features through study of their cultural contexts. Coursework involves class participation, readings from a customized set of articles and other materials, extensive listening to musical examples with scores, a series of three in-class tests, and writing a fully-annotated term essay of at least 3500 words on an approved topic.