Oct 23, 2021  
College Catalog 2019-2020 
College Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MHMUS 409 — Medieval Music and the Modern Imagination

3 credits
Jonathan Yaeger

Prerequisite: MHMUS 311 . Composers and musicologists have long been fascinated by the music of the Middle Ages. Such interest dates to the Romantic era and its reaction against Enlightenment rationalism in favor of the “age of Faith.” Since 1800, many canonic and popular pieces have borrowed or referenced medieval music, including Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Liszt’s and Bruckner’s choral music, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and works of the spiritual or “holy” minimalists Arvo Pärt and John Tavener. We will study these modern pieces along with the original sources of inspiration, i.e. Wagner’s opera alongside the songs of the German Minnesinger, Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin in conjunction with troubadour song. We will investigate the ways in which medieval music has been re-imagined in the industrial and now post-industrial worlds, and consider how such re-imaginings convey modern musicians’ own epochs.