MUSC2331 Western Art Music 1 (Renaissance and Baroque)

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit introduces students to the study of Western art music in its musical, historical and cultural settings. It establishes basic concepts and perspectives for musicological enquiry and proceeds to a detailed study of the development of the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods—the years from c.1450 to 1750—a period that witnessed the flowering of vocal and choral musical genres such as the polyphonic mass, motet, anthem and madrigal and the early development of opera, oratorio, cantata as well as independent instrumental forms such as sonata, concerto and solo keyboard music, and a variety of influential dance forms. This rich period of musical development culminated in the music of two of Western art music's most celebrated composers, namely J. S. Bach and Handel. The unit is designed to provide both analytical and critical perspectives of the musical literature of the period through both broad cultural and contextual study as well as stylistic and structural analysis of representative repertoire. This unit is a compulsory unit in the Music Studies major in the Bachelor of Arts degree. It is also open to students enrolled in other majors and degree pathways who fulfil the prerequisites and who have an interest in music.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an initial understanding of the modes of enquiry employed in historical musicology, especially those appropriate to the study of late medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music; (2) understand the basic style characteristics of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, including their development and context within the history of Western art music generally; (3) relate the musical developments of the period to their cultural and social background; and (4) identify the various styles and genres of music from the period.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) listening test; and (3) exam. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr David Symons
Unit rules
any Level 1 Music unit
MUSC1100 Western Art Music (Renaissance and Baroque)
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1_2019 [SEM-1_2019]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.