MUSI 2004/3005 Music at the North Italian Courts

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Assignments – essay questions and study diary

Semester 1, 2003/4

Assessment – essay questions and study diary


Essay questions

Second-year students may answer question A, B or C.  Third-year students may answer any question.

A.      Discuss three distinct performing arenas found in Italian courts during the sixteenth-century, in terms of repertoire, performing forces, major personalities, and context within court life.

B.      How did the broad tenets of humanist education and ideals affect music and music-making at the northern Italian courts?

C.      In what major ways did the roles and expectations of the performer and the composer at court change from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the end?

D.      Describe the relationship between private sacred and secular music-making in the 16th-century Italian courts.  In what ways are they similar, and in what ways are they different?  Concentrate your answer on matters of function and repertoire.

E.       In what ways could the Classical discipline of rhetoric be seen to be reflected in sixteenth-century vocal composition?  Use one or two works (not Lasso’s ‘In me transierunt’) to illustrate the correspondence between musical and rhetorical devices.

The essay should be c.2500 words.  You should include footnotes and a bibliography – I will issue you with a style sheet before the Christmas holidays.  The essay is due in Wednesday 21 January, 2004.

Assessment weighting:  60%


 Study diary

This should detail and comment on all the listening, watching and reading you do to support your work for this course.  Note that you should be spending a minimum of four hours a week in private study, as well as attending any relevant concerts.  Commentary can comprise précis, synthesis or questions to ask in class or to research further.  The completed study diary should contain between 2500 – 5000 words of commentary (i.e. min 250, max 500 for each week), and should include full discographic and bibliographic references.  The diary is due in Wednesday 21 January, 2004.

Assessment weighting:  40%


 Differentiation between 2nd and 3rd year work

For 3rd year students taking this unit, expectations will be higher than those for 2nd year students, and the assessment criteria will be accordingly stricter. In particular:

·   Topics chosen should allow a greater degree of focus and detail, whether of analysis, examination of and commentary on facts, critical insight, independent argument, or other factors.

·   Conversely, assignments should demonstrate a broader knowledge and understanding of context, a more confident use of analytical and critical tools, and a more mature handling of argument, etc.

·   Optimal standards of presentation are required, in terms of spelling, punctuation, and grammar; sophistication of vocabulary; provision of footnotes; inclusion of full bibliographic and related details; physical appearance of work; etc.

In short, 3rd year students should aspire at all times to the highest possible levels of undergraduate work.