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CODE 72710
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR L-ART/07
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER Annual
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

Course format: 

- Part 1 + Part 2: 9 CFU

- Part 1 only: 6 CFU


Part 1: European Art Music from Bach to Brahms: a Journey ​from Baroque to Romantic Age

Part 2: Verdi’s Falstaff: in Praise of Lightness, in Shakespeare’s Shadow

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims at offering a guide to main styles and forms of musical theatre and instrumental music, considered in the

chronological development of history of music.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

9 CFU

The course aims at providing the student with the capabilities to acknowledge, understand, and describe symbols and meanings of musical language, increasing the awareness of the numerous relationships between music, literature, arts, and sciences. The student will learn to understand the strategies composers employ to transmit specific ideological, poetical, religious, political, or personal messages through the prescriptions, on the paper or other, which will enact the score, so that their message reaches the listeners through the performers. 

The main assumption of the course is that the knowledge and competence about genres, forms, and authors from the history of western music significantly completes the cultural preparation of any student of humanities. This will enable to correct a guilty failure of Italian school system, contributing to the assumption that music, differently than other disciplines in the humanities, must settle for an extemporaneous and acritical approach, as if it were an ephemeral experience to be consumed with eyes wide shut.

By the end of the course students will be able to understand a significant time span of the history of western music, having developed tools to acknowledge, understand, and describe musical language which could be applied, also in creative terms, to other contexts. They will be able to acknowledge, understand and describe the main genres of art music in Europe between Bach and Debussy, understand, discuss, and describe the aesthetic and style options of the composers considered, judge proximity or distance between movements and single composers. 

6 CFU

The course aims at providing the student with the capabilities to acknowledge, understand and describe symbols and meanings of musical language, increasing the awareness of the numerous relationships between music, literature, arts, and sciences. The main assumption of the course is that the knowledge and competence about genres, forms, and authors from the history of western music completes significantly the cultural preparation of any student of humanities.

By the end of the course students will be able to understand a significant time span of the history of western music, having developed tools to understand, discuss, and describe musical language which could be applied also to other contexts. 

PREREQUISITES

General interest in music and its use as an art form.

TEACHING METHODS

Class lessons with CD and DVD examples.

The class will attend a performance of Falstaff at Teatro Carlo Felice.

The class will be invited to attend concerts and operas on stage in Genoa, if related to the course programme.

Attending class is strongly recommended.

Registering to the course Aulaweb (activated immediately before lectures start) is strongly recommended in order to obtain information and materials.

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with Prof. Sara Dickinson (sara.dickinson@unige.it), the Department’s disability liaison.

Erasmus Students should speak with the instructor as lectures start, in order to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams. Erasmus students not proficient in Italian may request a substitutive bibliography, and take the examination in English, French or German.

 

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The course might be chosen in a 6 (just Part 1) or 9 (6+3: Part 1 + Part 2) credit format.

No specific background in music is required.

Part 1: European Art Music from Bach to Brahms: a Journey from Baroque to Romantic Age

Part 1 (6 credits) will enquire the development of Western Music 1680 to 1890, from late Baroque to the Romantic age. The general outline of that historical period will be regularly exemplified in class through CDs and DVDs, leading students to a solid knowledge of styles, genres and main composers of Western Music from Bach to Brahms. The course will explore four seasons of European Music: Baroque, Galant, Classic and Romantic styles. 

 

Part 2: Verdi’s Falstaff: in Praise of Lightness, in Shakespeare’s Shadow

Giuseppe Verdi ended his career, completely devoted to romantic opera, with an unusual and marvellous comic project, centered on a character derived from three Shakespeare’s dramas. Once more, as it had happened to him, he was transferring spoken theatre into opera. Falstaff is a totally unexpected project, witnessing Verdi’s endless ability in innovating his theatre, in a virtuoso synthesis between tradition and innovation, lively stage action and witty irony. The old composer’s last masterpiece shows itself as incredibly open to the future, as it is witnessed by the enthusiasm of a genius of European music theatre, Richard Strauss, two generations younger than Verdi, who wrote to the latter declaring he had « no words to express the great impression the extraordinary beauty of Falstaff  made on me». Inventing a brand new kind of comic opera, Falstaff turns out as a sublime praise of lightness.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Required Readings - Part 1 only (6 CFU)

R. Mellace, Il racconto della musica europea. Da Bach a Debussy, Carocci («Quality paperbacks» 560), 2019, p. 1-387.

 

Required Readings - Part 1+2 (9 CFU)

1. R. Mellace, Il racconto della musica europea. Da Bach a Debussy, Carocci («Quality paperbacks» 560), 2019, pp. 1-387.

2. Libretto (included in. 4) and video or audio recording of Verdi's Falstaff; score for those who can read music.

3. R. Mellace, Con moltissima passione. Ritratto di Giuseppe Verdi, Roma, Carocci, «Sfere» 82, 2013 (disponibile anche nelle edizioni Carocci, «Quality paperbacks» 514, 2017, Società Europea di Edizioni – “Il Giornale”, «I protagonisti» 28, 2022).

4. G. Verdi, Falstaff, Milano, Edizioni del Teatro alla Scala, 2025.

5. J. Budden, Le opere di Verdi. Vol. 3. Dal Don Carlos al Falstaff, EDT, 1986 e ss. (solo il capitolo sul Falstaff).

6. E. D'Angelo, Falstaff «dans les jardins du Décaméron». Boito mediterraneizza Shakespeare, in La vera storia ci narra, a c. di C. Faverzani, LIM, 2014, pp. 331-350.

N.B.: n. 4, 5 and 6 will be uploaded, after lessons have started, in the course's AulaWeb. N. 1 and 3 are available in the Library of the School of Humanities and in bookshops.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

In the week starting with 30th September.

Class schedule

HISTORY OF MUSIC

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Oral Exam.

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with Prof. Sara Dickinson (sara.dickinson@unige.it), the Department’s disability liaison.

Erasmus Students should speak with the instructor as lectures start, in order to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams. Erasmus students not proficient in Italian may request a substitutive bibliography, and take the examination in English, French or German.

 

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The exam will consist in an oral interview on the course programme and its bibliography. Students will be tested on (instrumental and vocal) genres and forms, styles and main authors of the portion of history of music considered in the course program, paying specific attention to the evolution of each style. They are required to be able to describe and discuss the topics of the course programme. 

Students will be tested on the knowledge of the course programme (topics discussed in class, readings taken from the bibliography or uploaded in the course "aulaweb"), specifically on their capabilities in describing and discussing the course topics and in the accuracy in employing the specific language.

Notes taken in class cannot be by any means considered adequate to reach the required outcomes.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Quality education
Quality education
Gender equality
Gender equality
Reduce inequality
Reduce inequality
Peace, justice and strong institutions
Peace, justice and strong institutions