History of Music: 1750-1820


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

Luís Miguel Lopes dos Santos


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

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

an individual research project (40%), classroom participation together with a final report on the subject (20%), written test(40%)

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: