Fisher Center

Music History

This four-semester sequence concentrates on major works from the 18th and 19th centuries in the first semester and the 20th and 21st centuries in the second semester, with a focus each week on a particular composer within the larger musical, historical, biographical, and cultural context.

The third semester is devoted to the history of opera, from Monteverdi to the present. The fourth-semester course, built around American Symphony Orchestra programs in New York City and at Bard, illuminates the relationship of music history to the sociology of music, particularly that of listening. The course examines shifting attitudes toward public performance; the different contexts of performance: spaces, politics, economics, and social status of musicians; the history of the orchestra; and economics of concert life.
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