Fall 2024

Voices from a Bygone Time

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-221  |  Music, as MUSI-221


Klara Moricz (Section 01)


(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 211 or consent of the instructor. Professor Móricz.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: an emphasis on listening, readings, independent research, oral presentations, exams, artistic work, aural analysis.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024