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This subject surveys and critiques the practice of music in France from the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV (1643) to the Revolution (1789). We will study leading composers, performers, and musical developments in ancien régime France, with case studies including operas, ballets, chamber music, symphonies, and sacred music. We will also examine technological developments such as the printing and publishing of music, and the design of musical instruments. The cultural practice of music in French society is situated within political, economic, and religious frameworks to examine how extra-musical factors impacted on composers, theorists, and professional and amateur musicians. Students will also be introduced to relevant issues and debates in notation, performance practice, the philosophy of music (especially French Enlightenment thought on music), and music theory.
Intended learning outcomes
- Demonstrate knowledge of the principal musical developments in France from the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV (1643) to the Revolution (1789).
- Develop an awareness of performance practice issues related to French music of this period.
- Identify and analyse specific genres and works from France 1643-1789.
- Interpret the political, cultural, and religious factors that impacted on music at this time, with reference to relevant secondary literature.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed:
- a receptive attitude to new ideas;
- the capacity for independent and critical reflection;
- knowledge, skills and practices required for independent critical inquiry and research-based writing and presentation;
- the ability to present an academic paper to peers;
- the ability to identify and critically analyse primary source materials.
Last updated: 6 December 2019