University of Notre Dame

The Renaissance: A Golden Age of Music for the Church and Court.

Course Number: MUS 13182-1
Instructor: Alexander Blachly

“The Renaissance: A Golden Age of Music for the Church and Court” examines the music of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, with particular attention to music of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The course is for students with little or no musical background, but is open to those who play musical instruments or sing with some proficiency. Special areas of study will be Lutheran chorales, Calvinist psalm tunes, and Anglican metrical psalms, and the response to these by the Catholic countries of southern Europe, especially Italy. Like all USEMs, this course requires 24 pages of writing (double-spaced, 11- or 12-point type, 1-inch margins, pages numbered) over the course of the semester. The goal of the writing is to improve students’ skill in expressing ideas with clarity, directness, and readability. To that end, drafts of the larger papers will be handed in for the instructor’s comments prior to the final product. Students will also attend at least five live concerts during the semester and write a “review” of one of them. More formal papers will compare different settings of the same text by different composers, a review of an article or a book, and a nine-page research paper. Class sessions will encourage participation in discussions on the part of all members of the class.