Themes in Western Music History and Historiography: Pre-1600
This course surveys the music and musical institutions of Ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Nearly two millennia of musical developments, needless to say, cannot be adequately covered in ten weeks; the course thus aims to build literacy in music from these periods by contextualizing musical works and their creators against broader themes, including music and the church, music and politics, music and gender, the evolution of musical notation, and the rise of secular music. At the same time, we will interrogate the central historical narratives of Western music that we have inherited and grapple with how historiography - the writing of history - shapes the way we understand the musical past and present.
The online version of the Caltech Catalog is provided as a convenience; however, the printed version is the only authoritative source of information about course offerings, option requirements, graduation requirements, and other important topics.