French Music from the Belle Époque, 1871-1900
Music Theory 362
In this course, we will examine art music composed in France during the first thirty years of the Belle Époque, from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. The repertoire will include keyboard and chamber music, orchestra works, mélodies, and operas by composers such as Bizet, Debussy, Dukas, Duparc, Fauré, Franck, Massenet, and Saint-Saëns. We will discuss a variety of analytical techniques that scholars have applied to this repertoire, including theories of harmony, form, narrative, and gender. We will also consider the question of whether there are aesthetic and stylistic elements that mark this music as characteristically “French.” Written work will consist of responses to readings, analyses of selected works, and a final paper.