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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Venice: Music and Culture, 1690-1740 (MUSI10103)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn the early 18th-century, the allure of Venice resided not only its unique lagoon location and architecture but also in its extraordinarily abundant and fashionable musical culture, which attracted large numbers of musicians and listeners from throughout Europe. This course explores the music they created, performed and consumed within the context of the city's social and cultural life, institutions and annual calendar.
Course description On the surface, the musical culture of 18th-century Venice seems quite modern: Thousands of tourists flocked to the city to get a glimpse of star singers like Farinelli, who was fêted like a modern rock star, and to attend performances of the city's famous conservatoires, where teenage girls could play any conceivable instrument and even conduct orchestras. However, these phenomena were embedded in social hierarchies and a cultural context very different from our own. This course explores the socio-cultural, institutional, aesthetic and economic frameworks of music in early 18th-century Venice.

Topics will include:
- Power and Status: social hierarchy and political organisation
- Identities: musicians and patrons
- Time and Space: topography and annual calendar
- Music Industries: musical institutions and music-related businesses
- Authorship and Ownership: musical collaboration

The course will be taught in nine weekly seminars and two museum visits. The weekly seminar sessions will consist of one hour of seminar discussion based on the course reading, listening and viewing and a lecture introducing the topic of the ensuing session. The field trips to St. Cecilia's Hall and the National Museum of Scotland will illustrate and aid reflection on theoretical issues such as the socio-economic and aesthetic context of 18th-century Venetian music.

Students will explore the course's central theme, the relationships between different kinds of musicians and their patrons and audiences within the context of 18th-century Venice, in a research essay (40%) as well as a group and an individual poster presentation (20% and 40%, respectively). The poster presentations offer students an opportunity to apply their insights on the musician-audience relationship to their own work.

Learning to interpret and contextualise period sources will figure importantly throughout the course. Knowledge of musical notation is not required but students will have opportunities to use advanced skills in musical notation and analysis. Knowledge of foreign languages is not required but students with advanced skills in Italian, French, German, Latin or Spanish may choose to work with primary and/or secondary writings in these languages in addition to English-language course materials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Printing cost of poster assessments; as of 15 Jan 2020 £5 for an A1 poster (plain), thus not in excess of £10 for the course
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents taking this course will benefit from previous experience in writing essays in the humanities or social sciences at level 8 or higher.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a critical understanding of the socio-economic contexts that shaped musical production and reception in early modern Venice
  2. analyse the functions of musical genres within early modern musical institutions as well as the religious and political annual calendar using the case study of early 18th-century Venice
  3. begin to critically evaluate period source materials from the perspectives of their original creators as well as current approaches to early modern studies.
Reading List
Students will be able to access the electronic Resource List for the course through the LEARN course page. Resources include:

Addison, Joseph. Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c., in the Years 1701, 1702, 1703. London: Tonson, 1705.
Chojnacka, Monica. Working Women of Early Modern Venice. Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press, 2001.
De Maria, Blake. Becoming Venetian: Immigrants and the Arts in Early Modern Venice. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010.
Selfridge-Field, Eleanor. Song and Season: Science, Culture and Theatrical Time in Early Modern Venice. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007.
Talbot, Michael. Venetian Music in the Age of Vivaldi. Aldershot and Brookfield: Ashgate, 1999.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will require students to
- be able to identify and distinguish between the norms and values of their own society and those of another (historical) society, striving for neutrality and exercising critical judgment in doing so.
- be able to critically re-evaluate established scholarly narratives and key concepts.
- interpret, use and choose primary and secondary sources as well visual materials to support their research and present their research projects to an informed audience of peers (group and individual poster presentations).
- exercise autonomy and initiative in developing, planning and completing individual research projects.
KeywordsVenice,patronage,audience,musicians,social hierarchy,source studies,music business
Course organiserDr Anne Desler
Course secretaryMr Hugh Black
Tel: (0131 6)51 5926
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