Music in Western Culture

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Music in Western Culture

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Music (BA)

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    The study of European art music from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century in its historical and cultural contexts.
    We all know of Beethoven and Mozart and Bach - three composers who have made great and original contributions to the heritage of western art music-but do we know what they were really trying to say? In this paper we explore western art music in context. Why did Bach write music in the way he did, why did Beethoven write music differently, why did renaissance musicians sing madrigals, what was it like to be a medieval musician, why did everyone hate Lully, what secret message was Schumann sending to his fiancée in his songs? Focusing on particular composers at particular times and places, we enable students to understand the history of music in the context of its own times.

    Learning Outcomes
    By the end of the paper, students will be able to recognise important genres, styles and forms in Western music and be able to discuss and comment on them with an understanding of their historical context.

    Prior to each module, the professor will post assigned readings on Blackboard. These will provide important background and additional context to the topics presented in the lectures. It is, therefore, important to read these materials before the module begins.

    Course Structure
    Please contact the Department of Music's office for copy a of the most recent paper profile.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.