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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Special History in Music: Wagner - Music, Philosophy and Culture (MUSI10050)

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 introduction to Richard Wagner's complex roles as philosopher, composer, revolutionary and cultural barometer in 19th and 20th Germany. Students will study selected music dramas by Wagner together with his polemical prose writings. They will place the composer in the context of 19th-century German culture and society, exploring among other things his connections with Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and German nationalism, and will consider aspects of his posthumous reception, in particular under the Nazi and communist regimes.
Course description This course will involve five fortnightly blocks, the first introducing nineteenth-century opera practices and Wagner's writings, and the remaining four focusing in turn on Tristan und Isolde, the RIng Cycle, the Meistersinger, and Parsifal. Over the course of the semester we will explore the music and libretti of Wagner's music dramas. We will contextualise his work in terms of nineteenth-century philosophy (Schopenhauer and Nietzsche), politics (utopian anti-capitalism, revolution, and nationalism), and socio-cultural issues (among them gender and anti-Semitism). Throughout the course we will also look at questions of staging, and Wagner's posthumous reception.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Music 2A: Music and Ideas from the Middle Ages to Viennese Classicism (MUSI08060) OR Music 2B: Music and Ideas from Romanticism to the Late Twentieth Century (MUSI08061) OR Composition 1 (MUSI08067)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements 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.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 3000-word essay (40%) - Week 7
1 x 3000-word essay (40%) - December Examination Period
1 x contribution to class blog (20%) - throughout Semester
Feedback Students will receive oral feedback in seminars and will receive written feedback on their assessed essays. They will also receive written feedback on formative blog entries that they contribute to the class blog over the course of the semester. They will then have the opportunity to rework one of these entries, based on this feedback, for their summative blog post submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate understanding of the musical language and libretti of Wagner┐s music dramas
  2. relate the music dramas to the wider socio-cultural currents of nineteenth-century Germany
  3. discuss the aesthetic philosophies of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche
  4. analyse staging practices of the music dramas in the twentieth century
Reading List
A reading/resource list is available via the course LEARN site.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminars in Weeks 1-5 and 7-11.
Course organiserDr Elaine Kelly
Tel: (0131 6)50 8248
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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