History of Music Year Two

Unit of Study - History of Music 201

The following applies to Year Two Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit NameHISTORY OF MUSIC: Classical and Romantic
Unit CodeHISTMU 202
Unit DescriptionIn this Unit students will:
• Study the development of music through the Classical and Romantic periods.
• Investigate the lives of prominent composers and their impacts on musical trends.
• Consider historical, societal, political, religious and cultural events and changes that impacted music development in this period.
• Observe and discuss verbally and written historical trends in the development of music that have impacted the development of the modern orchestra and popular music.
• Analyse peer reviewed literature and review authors’ intention and methodology.
• Research and collate peer reviewed and relevant material for a chosen topic.
• Write an essay on a topic derived from lecture content.
Award(s)Bachelor of Music
Unit Duration1 Semester (12 weeks)
Year LevelYear 2, Semester 1
Unit CoordinatorDr Houston Dunleavy
Teaching StaffLeonie Wobking
Pre/Co-requisitesA pass in History 101
Credit Points10 credit points
Mode of Deliveryx Face to face
x E-learning (online)
o Intensive/block mode (where the unit or a face to face component is delivered in a block)
x Distance/independent learning (un-timetabled)
x Full-time
x Part-time
o External
x Fast track
Student Workload
Delivery/ Contact Hours
Number of timetabled hours per week
• Lecture Theory 2 hour
• Practical Session - n/a
• Tutorial - n/a
• Personal Independent Study - 7 hour
Total hours per week - 9 hours
Resource Requirements• Computing resource requirements
• External Technical Help
Resources Provided• Online streaming video and additional referencing videos
• Library resources (see prescribed or recommended texts below)

Unit Aims

History of Music 201 continues to develop comprehensive knowledge of the societal, political and technological developments of society during the Classical and Romantic periods and the impact of these on the advancement of contemporary classical music. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the life and compositions of various composers that influenced the Classical and Romantic era, including focus on the development of the orchestra, opera, symphony, leading to the orchestral development and climax of the Romantic period to the shift in music in the early 20th Century. Students will continue to explore and refine research skills, applying critical reading and analysis in response to formulating arguments and research projects on developments of these periods.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of societal, political and technological developments through the Classical and Romantic periods, and the transition to the 20th Century, displaying awareness of orchestral developments, aesthetics in music and various composers who influenced these eras.
  2. Discern between musical works of differing periods and composers, identifying key musical characteristics of the Classical and Romantic periods.
  3. Develop a high level of self-directed research skills, formulating arguments and synthesising a written dissertation on specific areas studied within the unit.
  4. Formulate opinions and observations based on critical reading and research through analysing and reviewing peer-reviewed sources, and engage in class discussions.

Teaching Outline

Year 2
Semester 1
Early Classical Period
The orchestra within the early Classical period.
The symphony at the hands of Haydn.
Mozart’s personal life and influences on musical output.
Opera in the classical period.
Composers from the early Classical period, discussion of their life and works:
• Christoph Willibald Gluck;
• Franz Joseph Haydn;
• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Beethoven and Romantic Period
Early years and works of Beethoven.
Beethoven brought about the onset of the Romantic Period.
‘Aesthetics’ and its meaning both generally and in terms of music.
Characteristics of Schubert’s music during the classical period.
Composers from the period, discussion of their life and works:
• Ludwig Van Beethoven;
• Franz Peter Schubert.
Romanticism and Wagner
Romanticism in terms of art and social change as well as music.
Works of Johann Brahms.
Musical dramas of Richard Wagner.
Operatic masters of the Romantic Era.
Composers from the period, discussion of their life and works.
• Johannes Brahms;
• Frederic Chopin;
• Richard Wagner;
• Felix Mendelssohn;
• Franz Liszt.
Romantic Orchestra
Ways in which the orchestra was enlarged during the Romantic period.
Changes in the use and emphasis of elements of music from the late Romantic period into the early 20th century.
Analyse the classical symphony with the symphonic works of the romantic composers.
Composers from the period, discussion of their life and works
• Giuseppe Verdi;
• Cesar Franck;
• Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky;
• Giocomo Puccini;
• Gustav Mahler.

Student Assessment

Assessment TypeWhen assessedWeighting
(% of total unit marks)
Learning Outcomes Assessed
Assessment 1
Type: Weekly Engagement
Length: 500 words min. over unit
Participate in weekly forum discussions online/in lectures.
Week 1 - ongoing 20%1, 2, 4
Assessment 2
Type: Literature Review
Word Length: 500 words min.
Write a literature review analysing a given article, as assigned in class.
Week 315%1, 2, 3, 4
Assessment 3
Type: Literature Review
Word Length: 500 words min.
Write a literature review analysing a given article, as assigned in class.
Week 615%1, 2, 4
Assessment 4
Type: Major Essay
Word Length: 2000 words min.
Produce an essay demonstrating the developments, causes, impacts and outcomes of one of the major developments in music studied this semester. Base your research on a notable composer and works from that period, and comment on its’ influence. Suggested topics:
  • Beethoven and the Sonata firm

  • Changes in society and style from the Classical to Romantic Period

  • The developments of a notable Romantic composer: Brahms, Chopin, Wagner, Mendelssohn, Liszt or similar.

  • Development of the orchestra to modern forms
  • Week 1250%1, 2, 3, 4

    Prescribed and recommended readings:

    Library Resources
    Online Resources (books/video)
    A subscription to Oxford Music Online and to Grove Music Online which includes:

    • The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd ed.).
    • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd ed.).
    • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.).
    • The New Grove Dictionary of Opera.
    • The Oxford Companion to Music.
    • The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2nd ed.).

    Plus updated content bibliographies, specially-commissioned articles only available online.

    A subscription to JSTOR Journals and books
    A subscription to Lynda.com video tutorials


    Recommended Reading List

    Coles, W. (1997). The Form of Music. London, England: Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

    Crocker, R.L. (1986). A History of Musical Style. New York, NY: Dover Publications.

    Gammond, P. (1995). The Encyclopaedia of Classical Music: An essential guide to the world’s finest music. London, England: Salamander Books.

    Grout, D.J. & Palisca, C.V. (1996). A History of Western Music. (5th ed.) New York, NY: WW Norton & Co.

    Kamien, R. & Kamien, A. (1988). Music: An appreciation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

    Menuhin, Y. & Davis, C.W. (1979). The Music of Man. Toronto, Canada: Methuen.

    Scholes, P.A. & Ward, J.O. (1970). The Oxford Companion to Music. Vol. 9. London, England: Oxford University Press.

    Schonberg, H.C. (1997). The Lives of the Great Composers. New York, NY: WW Norton & Co.


    Reference Materials

    Davies, H. (2001) Electronic Instruments. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/A2256456.

    Orton, R. & Davies, H. Theremin. (2001). Oxford University Press.  Web. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/27813.

    Strawn, J., & Shockley, A. (2014). Computers and music. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40583.

    Von Glahn, D., & Broyles, M.  (2012).  Art Music. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/A2227279.

    #Course Learning Outcomes

    On completion of the course the student should be able to demonstrate:
    Unit Learning OutcomesAssessments
    1 A broad knowledge of the applied, theoretical and historical basis of the discipline1, 2, 3, 41, 2, 3, 4
    2A depth of disciplinary knowledge in a professionally applicable specialisation1, 2, 3, 41, 4
    3An understanding of the processes of musical scholarship and research3, 41, 2, 3, 4
    4The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in diverse and complex musical settings3, 41, 2, 3, 4
    5Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills3, 41, 2, 3, 4
    6Critical thinking and analytical skills appropriate to a range of contexts including further study3, 41, 2, 3, 4
    7The ability to apply specific musical skills to a wide range of professional contexts2, 3, 41, 2, 3, 4
    8The capacity to apply technological and creative solutions to contemporary musical practicesNANA
    9The ability to incorporate knowledge from the business and legal fields to a portfolio career in the music profession.NANA

    #Graduate Attribute
    Successful completion of this unit will contribute to the attainment of the following graduate attributes:
    Unit Learning OutcomesCourse Learning OutcomesAssessments
    1Deep disciplinary knowledge1, 2, 3, 41, 2, 3, 4, 71, 2, 3, 4
    2The ability to apply knowledge and skills in innovative ways3, 44, 5, 6, 72, 3, 4
    3A commitment to lifelong learning1, 2, 3, 41, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 72, 3, 4
    4Effective communication skills for diverse contexts1, 2, 3, 43, 5, 6, 71, 2, 3, 4
    5The capacity to work independently and collaboratively3, 43, 4, 5, 6, 71, 2, 3, 4