Fall 2009

Mozart and the Classical Style

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-40


David E. Schneider (Section 01)


As one of the most popular composers of all time, Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791) has come to be taken as the paradigm for the creative genius who produces beautiful art with seemingly no effort--a child of nature, to use a popular eighteenth-century trope, unencumbered by the struggles of adulthood. In this seminar we will examine the cultural-historical context that produced Mozart, his music, and, even before his untimely death, the "Mozart myth." The main texts for the class will be scores of Mozart's mature compositions--symphonies, chamber music, concertos, and most important, operas--as well as selected works by his contemporaries and predecessors. We will interpret these works with the help of primary documents relating to Mozart's life, and with the help of analytic methods developed by scholars such as Wye J. Allanbrook, William Caplan, Daniel Heartz, Robert Levin, and Leonard Ratner. Our studies will be integrated into attending performances of Mozart's work in New York or Boston. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Schneider.


Artistic practice, Writing attentive


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2011