Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Venice, 1690-1740: Critical Approaches to Music and Culture (MUSI11070)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn the early 18th century, the allure of Venice resided not only in its unique lagoon location and architecture but also its extraordinarily abundant and fashionable musical culture, which attracted large numbers of musicians and tourists from throughout Europe.

This course explores Venetian musical outputs as artefacts of production and consumption practices that evolved within the framework of early modern social, political and economic hierarchies as well as cultural and religious beliefs and practices.
Course description This course introduces students to critical approaches to the study of music as cultural practice in early modern Venice. Areas of investigation will include social and economic hierarchies that shaped the relationships between music practitioners and patrons, institutions that sustained musical practice and offered employment, edification and entertainment and the peculiarities of Venice's topography, annual calendar and relationships with the world beyond that made it one of Europe's cultural capitals.

The course will be taught in weekly 2-hour sessions that will consist of lecture and seminar components organised around the course reading, listening and viewing. Examination of collection items held by institutions such as St. Cecilia's Hall and the National Museum of Scotland will illustrate and aid reflection on theoretical issues such as the socio-economic context and the aesthetics of visual culture in 18th-century Venice.

Developing critical judgment in the interpretation and contextualisation of printed and manuscript period sources will figure importantly throughout the course. Students will acquire transferable skills in archival research and source studies as part of carrying out their individual research projects.

Knowledge of musical notation is not required. However, students will have opportunities to use advanced skills in musical notation and analysis and work with period manuscript scores (mostly in digitised and/or microfilm formats).
Knowledge of foreign languages is not required. However, students with advanced skills in Italian, French, German, Latin or Spanish may choose to work with primary and secondary sources in these languages in addition to the English-language course materials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. apply current methodologies to musical production in 18th-century Venice and the socio-economic contexts, hierarchies and practices that shaped it;
  2. conceptualise the functions of musical genres within early modern musical institutions as well as religious and political annual calendars, using early 18th-century Venice as a case study;
  3. locate, work with and critically evaluate period source materials from the perspectives of their original creators as well as current approaches to 18th-century studies.
Reading List
Addison, J. Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c., in the Years 1701, 1702, 1703. London: Tonson, 1705.
Burney, C. The Present State of Music in France and Italy. London: 1771.
Burke, P. The historical Anthropology of Early Modern Italy: Essays on Communication and Perception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Cowan, A. Marriage, Manners and Mobility in Early Modern Venice. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007.
Glixon, J. Mirrors of Heaven or Worldly Theaters? Venetian Nunneries and Their Music. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2017
Johnson, E. Inventing the Opera House: Theatre Architecture in Renaissance and Baroque History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
Selfridge-Field, E. Song and Season: Science, Culture and Theatrical Time in Early Modern Venice. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will require students to
- demonstrate critical understanding of principal approaches in the cultural study of music (including historiography, historical anthropology, reception and institutional studies)
- critically re-evaluate established scholarly narratives, key concepts and analytical practices in the study of music and identify their long-term influence beyond the period and culture covered by the course;
- take responsibility for their own work and exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in developing, planning and completing research projects;
- exercise critical judgment in using a wide range of primary and secondary sources and develop specialised research skills that may vary depending on the students' projects but will include archival research;
- communicate their research findings to members of the public, their peers and academic staff using appropriate resources.
Keywordsmusic,cultural studies,historiography,early modern,Venice
Course organiserDr Anne Desler
Course secretaryMrs Carrie Parker
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information