History of Western Music III, 1730 to 1850


Table of Contents

Course Information

History of Western Music III, 1730 to 1850
College Department of Music
University of Rochester
MUR 223 (CRN 34792; workshops CRN 34805, 34818)
Fall 2018
5.0 credits
Prerequisites: MUR 222, MUR 212


Main Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2–4 p.m. Dewey 1-305
Workshop (CRN 34805) Fridays, 2–2:50 p.m. Dewey 1-305
Workshop (CRN 34818) Fridays, 3–3:50 p.m. Dewey 1-305

Instructor Information


Andrew A. Cashner, PhD
Assistant professor of music
Office: Dewey 1-318
(585) 275-4180
Office hours: Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to noon, or by appointment

Teaching assistant

John Green
PhD candidate, UR Eastman School of Music
Office: Dewey 1-345
Office hours: Fridays, 1–2 p.m., or by appointment

Course Materials

  1. J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music, Ninth edition (New York: Norton, 2014), ISBN 978-0-393-91829-8, $139
  2. J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca, eds., Norton Anthology of Western Music, Volume 2: Classic to Romantic, Seventh edition (New York: Norton, 2014), ISBN 978-0-393-92162-5, $59
  3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) in Full Score (New York: Dover, 1979), ISBN 978-0-486-23751-0, $28
  4. Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphonies Nos. 5, 6 and 7 in Full Score (New York: Dover, 1989), ISBN 978-0-486-26034-1, $20
  5. Franz Schubert, Complete Song Cycles, ed. Eusebius Mandyczewski (New York: Dover, 1970), ISBN 978-0-486-22649-1, $20
  6. Pen, notebook, folder (Use of electronic devices will not ordinarily be permitted in the classroom)
  7. Music staff paper (Can be printed from free sources online)


  • A new copy of the Burkholder textbook (A History of Western Music) comes with an code that will give access to online streaming recordings of all the music in the Norton Anthology. It is also possible to purchase a DVD set of the Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music corresponding to the score anthology.
  • But all recordings used in this class will be made freely available online via Blackboard, YouTube, or Naxos (see below about online materials). This means you may rent or purchase a used copy of the Burkholder textbook, or use the library copy.
  • You will need to bring the Norton Anthology to every class, as well as the score for each unit’s focus work (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, or Liszt).
  • The Burkholder textbook and anthology will also be used in History IV next semester.

Course Description

Catalog Description

The history of western art music from approximately 1730–1850, with an emphasis on analysis of the masterpieces of tonal music and their relationship to society and other arts. Lectures with extensive listening, reading, and analysis.

Full Description

This course, as part of a four-semester sequence of courses in the history of Western music for music majors, will give you the opportunity to engage in the close study of practices of music-making from around 1730 to 1850. The course concentrates primarily on notated musical compositions that, starting in this period, came to be regarded by people in the educated upper classes of Europe and the parts of the world colonized by Europeans as a canon of classic masterworks—as the core of what has become known as Classical music. We will study the history of innovation within tradition as we examine the ways composers established their place in the tradition by extending and transforming earlier models. The course will provide knowledge, tools, and analytical perspectives for understanding music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Berlioz, Chopin, and Verdi, in genres of opera, solo and chamber instrumental music, symphonies, religious music, and song. This repertoire has become an important aspect of musical life across the globe today, especially in east Asia. The course will also consider the relationship between this tradition and other kinds of musical practice such as oral traditions of folk music and mass-mediated popular music; and it gives attention to the musical creativity of women, people of color, and disadvantaged groups.

We have two primary goals: first, we want to know this music at a detailed level and to understand how composers and musicians changed their techniques and styles across the historical period we are studying. Second, we want to understand the cultural and social context of this music, with the understanding that all music serves a social function and both expresses cultural values. For this reason we will understand how institutions, patrons, performers, critics, and audiences shaped this music and how the music shaped their lived experience. We will consider how musical practices were linked to the major intellectual and historical events of the period, especially the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars, and the Romantic movement. In sum, I want you to understand music historically, and understand history musically.

The final and most important element of this class is that it is designed to prepare you to make your own decisions about how to tell the story of music, with particular emphasis on the free exchange of ideas in collaboration. With respect to the departmental course catalog description, this course should help you develop a critical perspective on

  1. music’s role in shaping the West,
  2. why certain people in the West came to view some music as art distinct from other music, and
  3. how and why the concept of masterpieces of music developed and how that concept continues to shape musical culture today, even outside Classical music.
It is important to know the facts of how history has been told before, but it is more important to use your understanding of the past to shape where the story goes in the future.

The course is structured in three units. We will balance breadth with depth by focusing on three large works, each of which serves as a focal point for one units. The main class sessions will feature periods of lecture, discussion, group projects, and in-class performance; the workshops with the teaching assistant will reinforce and balance the other sessions with an even greater emphasis on interactive learning and group work. Each unit will culminate in a roundtable discussion, in which small groups will present the result of their research and discussion in the weekly workshops and the whole class will discuss the most pressing and puzzling questions relevant to that unit. Through this discussion, and through a quiz afterward on repertoire (via listening) and technical matters, both you and I will be able to assess what the class is learning, and what areas we can improve moving forward. The workload will require about one hour of reading and at least two hours of listening and score study each week. You will need to spend additional time outside class on weekly writing assignments, group work, and writing a larger analysis paper (see the list of assignments below).

Learning Goals

This course equips students to achieve the following learning goals:

  1. Demonstrate detailed, technical knowledge of musical pieces from the time period and regions covered in this course—with a deeper knowledge of three larger works—and convey your understanding of how these pieces relate to each other historically.
  2. Analyze a piece of Classical music in writing, with attention to its style, formal structure, and its range of possible meanings and social functions; convey this analysis in a coherent, persuasive, evidence-based essay.
  3. Research factual historical information from credible sources and present this clearly to others.
  4. Gain hands-on knowledge of musical construction and performance practice by arranging and performing a selection of Classical music on an instrument or voice, together with others.
  5. Demonstrate a deepened capacity for thinking critically about the ways we tell the story of music and the values that shape that history.



Task Value
Roundtables 15 %
Midterm quizzes 15 %
Final exam 20 %
Analysis paper 20 %
Task Value
Proposal 10 %
Outline 20 %
Draft 30 %
Final 40 %
TOTAL 100 %
Group performance project 15 %
Weekly writing and class leadership 15 %
TOTAL 100 %


Staying in Contact

Please check both the Blackboard site and your e-mail every day for announcements from this class. Make sure you have configured Blackboard to send announcements and site changes to your e-mail address, and make sure you have your university e-mail set up so that you can check it easily. You may contact me through my e-mail (listed at the beginning of the syllabus), and I will respond as soon as I can during normal business hours. Be advised that I may not be able to respond to e-mails on evenings, weekends, or holidays until the start of the next business day.

Official office hours are listed at the beginning of the syllabus. You do not need an appointment; please just drop by. If someone else is already there, just knock or say hello so I know you are waiting and I’ll make sure there is time for you. I am also available by appointment: e-mail me or ask me after class and we’ll find a time. I am here to help you and I want the opportunity to get to know you!

Coming to Class and Getting Involved

I will take attendance at every class, and the teaching assistant will take attendance at every workshop. While there is no grade for attendance and participation, you will learn best if you come to every class and get involved as fully as you can in whatever we are doing in the classroom. That involvement starts before you come to class as you prepare each class session’s listening and reading assignments, as you write in your listening journal, and as you do your other coursework alone and with your classmates.

The music and reading for each class is listed on the detailed schedule below the title and date of the class session. You are expected listen to and read all of the assigned material before you come to class that day.

Workshops are an important component of the class, in which you have the opportunity to work in smaller groups with the teaching assistant on a variety of tasks and topics. These are meant to be hands-on learning opportunities to build your skills and give you the chance to get help in learning; as well as allowing us to deal with some topics that don’t fit as well in the format of the rest of the class.

Keeping Focus

Unless I tell you otherwise, you may not use computers, phones, tablets, or other electronic devices in class.

Turning in Assignments

Please turn in your work on paper to the bin on my office door, or to the TA if the assignment is due in the workshop. Use a basic 12-point font, double spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides. Staple the pages together, and make sure they include your name and the name and date of the assignment. Unless you make arrangements with me in advance, which I must confirm in writing, I will only accept work in hard copy, not via e-mail.

Assignments are due on the date listed in the syllabus. Assignments turned in after that time will be considered late, and a penalty may be deducted from the grade. Unless you arrange an extension with me in advance, which I must confirm in writing, I will not accept assignments more than a week after the original due date.

I will only arrange makeups for quizzes or exams in exceptional circumstances such as a documented health or family emergency.

Building a Supportive Classroom Community

It is my goal to build a safe, welcoming, and encouraging classroom community for every student, and I invite you to join me in working toward that goal. I and my colleages in the Department of Music are fully committed to preventing any kind of harassment or discrimination. The following is an excerpt from the university’s official statement on this issue:

The University of Rochester seeks to provide a setting that respects the contributions of all the individuals composing its community, that encourages intellectual and personal development, and that promotes the free exchange of ideas.

To ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. The University also prohibits retaliation and will not retaliate against any person who makes a complaint of discrimination or harassment on the basis on a protected status or who provides information or otherwise participates in a investigation of such a complaint.

If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed due to your protected status, you have several options for how to respond.

These options are listed on the university’s Equal Opportunity website.

Feedback for Improvement

There will be opportunities throughout the course for you to give feedback anonymously on your learning experience, in addition to the university’s student-evaluation process at the end of the semester. If you have any ideas for how this course could be improved, if you perceive any obstacles to your learning, or if you need any kind of accommodation to help your learning, please take advantage of these opportunities to let me know. Otherwise please feel free to speak to me or e-mail me directly and I will do the best I can to help you.

My supervisor is Prof. Honey Meconi, Chair of the Music Department.

University Policies

Accommodating Disabilities

Your success in this course is important to me, and every University of Rochester classroom respects and welcomes students of all backgrounds and abilities. I encourage you to talk with me about any concern or situation that affects your ability to complete your academic work successfully. If you require accommodations for a documented disability, or need to have a disability documented, please contact the Office of Disability Resources: 1-154 Dewey Hall, disability@rochester.edu, (585) 275-9049.

Academic Integrity

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester’s Academic Honesty Policy.

Academic honesty means avoiding anything that would unfairly advance your academic standing over that of your classmates, such as cheating on an exam or presenting someone else’s work as your own. Plagiarism includes any verbatim copying; unattributed, incorrectly attributed, false, or misleading citations; or unacknowledged help from others (e.g., having someone else write a paper for you).

Group assignments will include specific additional instructions about how to comply with the Academic Honesty Policy in your collaborative work. If you are not sure whether something counts as plagiarism or academic dishonesty, I can help you if you ask me about it before turning in the assignment.