Greek Culture in the
Ancient World, Western Heritage.
Literature I: Rome-Early
The course investigates
and traces aesthetic theories in art and music from antiquity to the modern
age, and especially emphasizes familiarity with, and understanding and
enjoyment of, actual artistic and musical productions. In addition, aesthetics
and artistic creativity may be explored as the way in which a specific
epoch addresses its problems and ideals, and expresses the sensibilities
and culture of its people (e.g., the socio-economic conditions of a period,
its achievement in philosophy and literature, and their cross-currents
in art and music).
sequence of topics:
The course can be divided into two sections: the first half could be devoted
to the visual arts, and the second half could examine how theories in art
in one particular period concur with compositional principles in music.
For this, some reference to music theory is necessary. The following scheme
is given here as a general guideline:
- The Classical World:
Principles of classical and post-classical Greek sculpture and architecture.
Sculpture and architecture in the Roman world view.
- The Middle Ages:
Romanesque architecture and sculpture.
Gothic architecture and sculpture.
Late medieval painting (book illuminations and fresco) and the emerging
concept of space/nature/man.
- Italian and Northern Renaissance:
Principles of perspective and colour (Flémalle, van der Weyden, Grünewald,
Mantegna, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo). Development of sculpture:
Greece/Florentine Renaissance/High (Roman) Renaissance.
- Baroque, Rococco, Neoclassicism:
Principles, theories of color, and themes of Baroque painting within
disparate expressions of provenance and style; hence, examples from:
El Greco, Poussin, Rubens, Caravaggio, Ruisdael, Rembrandt (to be studied
in particular during museum visit), Watteau, David
- Romantic Period:
Principles of Romantic painting (nature/man/imagination) and their interpretation
according to nationality: Germany/England/France
- Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Expressionism:
The aesthetic-theoretical significance of the suffix "ism" Color: its
new interpretation and the influence of Asia Principles of Chinese and
Japanese painting: nature/man; the medium of ink
- The Emergence of Principles of Music in the West:
The Lutheran hymn
The Elizabethan ayre
- The Formation of Music Theories:
Key notations, dynamics, instruments and equal temperament, the concerto;
case in point: Johann Sebastian Bach.
- The Classical Style:
Principles of the classical style: the classical concerto vis-à-vis
the Baroque concerto; case in point: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- The Romantic Style and Late Romantic Dissolutions:
Expansion of dynamics, instruments, orchestra, exploration of keys;
case in point: Ludwig van Beethoven; also, Brahms, Berlioz, Debussy,
- The Operatic Tradition (Italian, German, and French)
- Modernism in Music (atonality, etc.)
Schönberg, Busoni, Stravinsky, Bartok, Shostakovich
Dennis J. Sporre, The Creative Impulse (Prentice Hall, 1990).