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MUSI102 Music in Western Culture

The study of European art music from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century in its historical and cultural contexts.

We all know of Beethoven and Mozart and Bach - three composers who have made great and original contributions to the heritage of Western art music - but do we know what they were really trying to say? In this paper we explore Western art music in context. Why did Bach write music in the way he did; why did Beethoven write music differently; why did Renaissance musicians sing madrigals; what was it like to be a medieval musician; why did everyone hate Lully; what secret message was Schumann sending to his fiancée in his songs? Focusing on particular composers at particular times and places, we enable students to understand the history of music in the context of its own times.

Paper title Music in Western Culture
Paper code MUSI102
Subject Music
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,018.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,050.00

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Schedule C
Arts and Music
Before enrolling in MUSI 102, students are strongly advised to have taken MUSI 191 or have an equivalent music background.
Teaching staff
Convenor: Dr Andrew Deruchie and Dr Graeme Downes
Paper Structure
Please contact the Department of Music, Theatre and Performing Arts' office for a copy of the most recent paper profile.
Prior to each module, Assigned readings will be posted on Blackboard. These will provide important background and additional context to the topics presented in the lectures. It is, therefore, important to read these materials before the module begins.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to recognise important genres, styles and forms in Western music and be able to discuss and comment on them with an understanding of their historical context.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 18-21
Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22
T2 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-15, 17-22