HMVA01594U Doctrines of passions: Baroque

Volume 2014/2015

This course aims to introduce the students to opera, its techniques and styles cultivated between 1600 and 1800. “Baroque”is conventionally identified as the period ranging from the turn of the 17th century to the first half of the 18th century. A period of major innovations in all art forms, based on expression and dramatization, the 17th century is also the age of the doctrine of affection, the beginning of the scientific revolution, and religious wars. Musically it is characterized by vertical harmonic thinking, musical rhetoric and affective text expression, elaborate ornamentation, newly codified genres and forms, the emergence of functional tonality, and the rise of the virtuoso.

Lectures provide a survey of the main operas as well as their evolution both chronological and geographical. The main innovations and techniques will be explained: monody, aria, recitative, basso continuo, treble-bass polarity, concertato medium, and the evolution from modality to tonality. From the birth of opera around 1600, we will explore the social, historical, and musical contexts in which the genre was born and its developments in Mantova and Rome, the trajectories that brought the emergence of commercial theaters in Venice, and the dissemination of Italian opera in Europe. We will also study the other national dramatic works such as the tragédie lyrique in France, the masque in England, the singspiel in Germany and Northern countries and the emergence of comic opera. Case studies will illustrate the issues of patronage, the singers (among which women singers and castratos) and impresarios, the librettos and their settings in music, the conventions of the new genre as well as staging, machinery, and costumes. The revival of baroque opera today with the questions of historical vs. radical staging will conclude the semester.

Lectures are in english, analysis in danish!
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Course Preparation
  • 311
  • Exam Preparation
  • 84
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Total
  • 420
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Censorship form
External censorship