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MUS 390

Music History Topics

Investigations of specialized topics in music history with a consideration of musicological methodology. These courses expand upon the historical issues discussed in MUS 230 and/or MUS 334. Recent offerings have included Beethoven, Mozart, Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera, Mahler and His Time, Das Lied, Music for the Mass, Improvisation in Western Art Music, and Chamber Music of the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
MUS 230 and MUS 334 or consent of instructor 3/4 course

Fall Semester information

Elissa Harbert

390A: Tps:Broadway Musicals and American Culture

Broadway musicals have long been one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the United States. Far from a frivolous escape, the musical has been a vehicle for potent cultural critique that reveals the values and concerns of its era. After exploring the genre's origins in ballad opera, operetta, minstrelsy, and vaudeville, we will study selected musicals from Show Boat to Hamilton, examining how their music, lyrics, and narratives interact with cultural issues of their times and ours. By interpreting their messages about race, ethnicity, gender, class, national politics, and other issues, students will develop a deep understanding of musical theater's position in U.S. society as well as its musico-dramatic conventions.