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FU-BEST 3: Exploring Classical Music: Baroque to Contemporary

InstructorDr. Andrew Noble
Credit Points5 ECTS / 3 U.S. credits


Within a basic cultural studies framework, this course covers the history of European classical music, paying particular attention to German-speaking regions. Musical examples from different periods between the 18th and 20th centuries give a historical overview and introduce musically relevant topics. These are then placed, addressed, and analyzed in their relation to their broader cultural, social, political, and aesthetic contexts. The musical works have been chosen as exemplary for their musical form and genre and/or for their significance or representative significance in the development of European classical musical history. Musical terminology, notation, (historical) performance practice, musical instruments, orchestration, musical forms, prominent composers, music as a work of art, and aesthetics are among the subjects of discussion.

Berlin is the ideal city to explore classical music. Three major opera houses, two world-famous concert halls, and countless smaller concert venues provide a daily, incomparable program of musical entertainment. A key aim of the course is to orient yourself in this musical landscape. Choosing a concert and writing a concert critique is one of the assignments for this course.

Note: previous training in music is not a prerequisite for this course, although students with an ability to read music may find this skill advantageous from time to time.