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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Judy S. Tsou
MUHST 497
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Music History

Topics vary each quarter. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.0 in each of MUHST 210, MUSIC 303, and MUSIC 306.

Class description

The main objective of the class is to learn to analyze operas from a musico-sociological perspective. The class will investigate the intersection of gender and class, gender and race, operatic madness, the female narrative, and homosexuality presented in operas. We will be analyzing operas from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. This will be culminated in the form of a presentation and a final paper of about 12-15 pages in length, with footnotes, a bibliography, and musical examples. In order to complete this project, you will draw upon discussions in class, readings from and outside class, and your own analyses.

Student learning goals

- Know how to analyze an opera from a musico-sociological perspective.

General method of instruction

A combination of lecture and class discussions.

Recommended preparation

Students will need to have taken the music core courses (music history and theory). To succeed in the class, the students will need to read the assigned readings, and view and think about the assigned opera before class.

Class assignments and grading

Reading assigned articles, viewing assigned operas, and writing short essays (1-page) weekly on the assigned opera and/or reading. There will be a group project at the mid-point of the quarter, resulting in individual papers (5 pages). The last project will be an analysis of an opera, resulting in a presentation and a 12-15-page paper.

20% 1-page written assignments and class discussions. 30% Mid-term group project and paper. 50% Final presentation and project.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Judy S. Tsou
Date: 10/31/2008