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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Special History in Music: Arnold Schoenberg and the Emancipation of Music (MUSI10082)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an alternative view of the work and legacy of the Jewish composer, Arnold Schoenberg. It will trace the development of his compositional expression and his ideas, through reading and discussing his essays, and exploring his music. The work of successive generations of composers will then be viewed through the lens of Schoenberg¿s principal concern: the emancipation of the power of music from the cultural constraints of 19th century Europe. The nature of responses to Schoenberg¿s work will be queried in the light of the anti-semitism of the Third Reich, and contemporary accusations of incomprehensibility.
Course description 1. The myth of Schoenberg.
2. Brahms and Liszt: the intoxication of late Romanticism.
3. 'air from other planets': the limits of tonality.
4. The pure Expression of the Five Orchestral Pieces.
5. The path to the 12-tone row.
6. Idea and style: the rediscovery of classicism.
7. 'How one becomes lonely.' Schoenberg and his critics.
8. Music and Race.
9. Schoenberg is dead: Darmstadt and patricide.
10. Music as freedom in post-war Europe.
11. Music freed from Culture: a global emancipation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least three Music courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will become familiar with Schoenberg¿s music and his writings.
  2. Students will explore one important strand of European music before and after 1945.
  3. Students will examine contemporary debates about the meaning of music, and its accessibility.
  4. Students will consider how cultural and technical concepts develop in the discourses surrounding music.
Reading List
Adorno, W. The Philosophy of Modern Music. New York : Continuum, 1994.
Auner, J. A Schoenberg Reader. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2003.
Boulez, P. Stocktakings from an apprenticeship. Oxford: Clarendon, 1991.
Ross, A. The Rest is Noise: listening to the 20th century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
Schoenberg, A. (L. Stein, ed.) Style and Idea. London: Faber & Faber, 1975.
Taruskin, R. The Oxford history of western music: Music in the early 20th century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMusic, History, Schoenberg, Composer
Course organiserProf Peter Nelson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2428
Course secretaryMr Brad Herbert
Tel: (0131 6)51 5926
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