This semester, we will study a repertoire of more than 130 musical works, contained in the Norton Anthology of Western Music, 7th ed., volumes 1 and 2 (NAWM) They are listed on four web pages linked to this one, grouped by historical period: Ancient and Medieval, Renaissance, Seventeenth Century, and Eighteenth Century. These lists are arranged by topic, in the same order as the topics on the course schedule.
Recordings for the NAWM items are accessible in several ways.
Performers for each work in NAWM are listed on the jacket that contains the DVDs and on the online repertoire lists. Several performers are present or former faculty or students of the Jacobs School of Music.
For all the music in the anthology, if you sing or play through the pieces yourself, you will become more familiar with each piece and will be more likely to understand what is distinctive about each one and to remember the music for quizzes and examinations.
You should get to know the pieces in NAWM as individual works, as representatives of major genres and styles of the past, and as pieces that can be used for comparison to illuminate what is distinctive about other pieces. You should listen to each at least twice, read the commentary carefully, and write onto the score in NAWM notes from the commentary, HWM, or class that help you understand the piece and review it quickly (such as marking formal units and themes, highlighting important passages, and the like).
All these pieces serve several functions in this course:
The items marked with an asterisk (*) or plus sign (+) constitute our core repertoire. You should aim to be able to talk or write about them with or without the score as a prompt. Your familiarity with these works may be tested on repertoire quizzes and on examinations.
For pieces marked with an asterisk (*), you will be expected to be able to identify the composer, title, genre, and approximate date; describe the piece’s principal stylistic features; discuss the relation of the music to its text (if it has one); and indicate its social function and the probable circumstances of its performance.
For pieces marked with a plus sign (+), what you must know is not the individual work but the type of work it represents (types of chant in NAWM 3 and 4, and types of early polyphony in NAWM 14 and 15). Thus, you will not be asked to identify the composer (unknown, in any case) or title, but you will be expected to describe the genre, approximate date (if known), principal stylistic features, social function, and performance circumstances.
The other pieces on the list serve as examples of styles, genres, and trends discussed in the text and in class. You may be asked to identify these works (composer, title, genre, and date) on the next repertoire quiz (or on the next examination, if there has not been a repertoire quiz that covered them), but will not be asked the more detailed questions listed above for the works with an asterisk (*).
All of the music we study will provide examples you can refer to in writing short answers and essays on the written examinations. The listening and score questions on quizzes and examinations will include "known" works drawn from the repertoire list and also "unknown" works, pieces not on the repertoire list that are also representative examples of a certain genre, style, or composer that we have studied.
See above for possible questions on known works.
For the unknown works, you will be asked to identify, not the piece itself, but the genre, style, probable composer, and approximate date, and to provide reasons for your answer. These unknown works will share many features with at least one core work we have studied, so the greater your familiarity with the pieces marked with an asterisk (*) or plus sign (+) on the repertoire list, the easier it will be to identify the unknown works.
The Repertoire List is organized by period, on the following links:
Last updated: 13 August 2015
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