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Mary Neuburger, Director BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

Fall 2009

REE 325 • Historical Survey of Russian Music-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45600 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
MEZ 1.216

Course Description

The course will sample (to varying degrees) the following four general areas of music associated with Russia over the course of its history: • Sacred (religious, ecclesiastical) music was intimately bound up with the history and practice of Christianity in Russia, which was officially adopted from Byzantium in the tenth century. Special attention will be paid to the role of music in the religious rites practiced today (documented by the Moscow Patriarchate on its website!). • Traditional (folk) music in Russia is extremely rich and varies greatly over the wide terrain of the country. We will sample the variety of genres and structures used in various rites of passage (especially courtship/ weddings and laments), calendar rites, work songs, lyric songs, epics, and dances. Not to mention the famous Russian chastushka, which exercises wit, linguistic invention, and competitive skills. • Art (classical) music in Russian is widely considered to have begun with Glinka (1804?57), but its development in the 19th and 20th centuries includes many of the great names in the history of art music, such as Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich, along with other outstanding figures and movements. We will focus on the most Russian of the Russian composer, Mussorgsky, then the mystical Skriabin, Stravinsky in his Russian period, and Prokofiev and Shostakovich in the Soviet period. • Finally, we briefly illustrate the role of popular music in both Czarist and Soviet times, including the popular `romances' and the Soviet invention of the `mass song’. While the course begins with a survey of the fundamental and indispensible notions of musical structure and genre, the focus of the course is the role of music in its social and historical context.

Grading Policy

Four writing assignments:* 50% In?class examinations (2): 25% Class presentation: 15% Class participation: 10


A course packet will be made available, along with texts on Blackboard and handouts distributed in class.


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