l Introduction

Music is something which touches the deepness of our soul. Understanding the trends and the evolution of music is important for every one who is involved with it, for it gives us an idea of how the human genius evolves from time to time.

Few people get interested in knowing — and discovering — the paths music has strolled through. When we listen to a baroque composition, for instance, certain features are clearly visible: the rhythmic alternating of strong-weak intensities, the regular beat of the string instruments and the concern of the composer to get across the idea of offering music which is aimed at "shaking the soul inside". These aspects can be easily contrasted with those presented by the classical music of Mozart and Haydn, for example. And so it goes. Through the different moments of the erudite music — which is sometimes incorrectly called classic, being this word specifically related to the last two decades of the eighteenth century and the first two decades of the nineteenth century — we can compare and study the evolution of the techniques men have been using to "shake the soul inside", no matter what composing style (symphony, opera, ballet, aria, dance) is involved.

l Objectives

The main purpose of this course is to offer English speakers an opportunity to discuss, learn, compare and contrast the different characteristics and features comprehended by the various epochs and styles. The only requisite needed in this course is that the student is currently studying intermediate or advanced levels, or that he has a reasonable set of skills which enables him to understand the course. Throughout the course, however, the student will also become familiar with common peculiarities of music (expression, intensity, height, rhythm etc.).

l Contents

This music course for English speakers covers a wide variety of styles and epochs. The course is structured so that the student has a comprehensive knowledge of:

  1. Early West and East Music;
  2. Gregorian Chant and Early Medieval Music;
  3. Late Medieval Music (10th-14th centuries);
  4. Renaissance Music (15th-17th centuries);
  5. Baroque Music (17th-18th centuries);
  6. Ulterior Baroque Music — Rococo Style (18th century);
  7. Classic Music (end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century);
  8. Romantic Music (most part of the 19th century);
  9. Nationalist Music (end of the 19th century);
  10. Contemporary Music (20th century).

It is obvious that the principal representatives of each period and style will be studied (for example, Pergolesi, Haendel, Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Telemann, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Pachelbel, Rimsly-Korsakov, Tchaikowsky, Chopin, Lizst, Verdi, Villa-Lobos, Dvorak etc.).

l Methodology

All the classes will have theoretical and practical activities; the first ones will be related to the study of the characteristics of the music considered, as well as the main composers and their biographies, and the last ones will include the listening of masterpiece recordings of each period.


l Timetable

There isn’t a specific begin-and-end timetable. The classes can be held once or twice a week, and be stretched out as long as the student wants, or as long as the subjects go. There won’t be any formal test, and the student will be continuously assessed on his understanding of the topics.

l Materials

Students will receive booklets prepared for each music period. At the end of the course, students will have a collection of papers which will enable them to keep a wide view of music, from Ancient music to Contemporary music.

Basically, these booklets will be:

  1. Early West and East Music. Music from Greece, Israel, Arabia, India, Japan and China.
  2. Gregorian Chant. Main representatives of the style developed by Pope Gregory in the beginning of the Medieval Time.
  3. Late Medieval Music. Both sacred and profane music will be included here. Motets, psalms, hymns, bicinias, quartets, trios, masses and many other styles will be studied, as well as some of the main instrument families of that time (strings, winds, metals, percussion etc.);
  4. Renaissance Music. The Renaissance music comprises a great set of dances, quintets, sextets and even octets for consorts or broken consorts. Great composers, as Attaignant, Gervaise, Praetorius and Monteverdi will be covered here.
  5. Baroque Music. One of the most spectacular times of the West Music. All the magnificence of Vivaldi, Haendel, Bach, Telemann, Pergolesi, Corelli, Purcell and many others will be dealt here.
  6. Ulterior Baroque Music. This period includes the Rococo, which lasted for two or three decades and inherited us with names as Corelli and Lully.
  7. Classic Music. The genius of Mozart and Haydn, together with other prominent names of that time, will be studied.
  8. Romantic Music. As it says, the romanticism — in all its varieties and meanings — will be heard from masterpieces known over lands, such as the famous operas, the ballets written by Tchaikowsky, the waltz conceived by Strauss and many other wonderful symphonies, including those by Beethoven, Ravel and Berlioz.
  9. Nationalist Music. It is not very familiar to many people, but this short and fruitful period brought to us composers like Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Lizst, among others.
  10. Contemporary Music. Full of known personalities as Villa-Lobos, Dvorak and Béla Bártok, this period is constantly changing and has reached us now with a series of styles, including the soul music, the rap, the jazz, the gospel, the blues and the rock.