History of Music: 1750-1820 - 1st semester


The student should:
a) gain a knowledge of the historical, ideological, social, cultural and institutional context of the period 1750 to 1820, and how music fits within them;
b) gain a notion of compositional traditions, in the midst of which certain individuals stand out, as well as of a vast repertoire from which, precisely at this period, a ‘canon’ begins to emerge, which is both small and only partially representative;
c) be able to trace the evolution of the principal musical genres of this period, both instrumental and vocal;
d) become aware of musical practices relating to the performance of music of this period;
e) gain experience of an individual research project that is both free and yet guided, in terms of establishing issues, methodology and bibliographical knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

David Cranmer


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





BLANNING, Tim, The Romantic Revolution, London, Phoenix, 2011 (Chapters 1 and 2)
BURTON, Anthony, A Performer’s Guide to Music of the Classical Period, London, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, 2002.
RUSHTON, Julian, Classical Music: A Concise History from Gluck to Beethoven, London, Thames & Hudson, 1986.
TARUSKIN, Richard, The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. 2: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010 (Chapters 8 to 13).
ZASLAW, Neal (ed.), The Classical Era: From the 1740s to the end of the 18th Century (Man & Music), London, Macmillan, 1989.

Teaching method

Expositive lessons, organised in three cycles. Support lessons for na individual research project. Listening to musical examples constitutes a fundamental element, encouraging students to recognise stylistic characteristics of the music they hear.

Evaluation method

Continuous assessment based on the student’s effort: made up of a written test (40%) in Week 11 of the semester, an individual research project (40%), classroom participation together with a final report on the subject (20%).

Subject matter

A broad-based approach to the History of Music from 1750 to around 1820, organised in three cycles of lessons: 1. Contexts, places and institutions; 2. Musical genres; 3. Four key-figures: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini. An individual research project encourages students to raise issues concerning the musical activity in a city of their choice.


Programs where the course is taught: