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Overview of Western Music History

Course 2012-2013


It took composer Johannes Brahms many years to complete his first symphony. Every time when Brahms was composing music, he felt the weight of the ‘big giant’ behind him. With this big giant Brahms meant the composer Ludwig van Beethoven and his Ninth Symphony. This Ninth Symphony has been of great importance to several nineteenh-century composers. Beethoven himself was influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach, while the compositions of Brahms formed a source of inspiration for Arnold Schönberg.
These lectures will give an overview of western music. The influence of composers Bach, Haydn, Mozart en Beethoven on the development of music history will be closely examined. The teacher will furthermore deal with the development of chamber music, opera and the symphony. A variety of musical styles which have come to blossom in the twentieth century will be discussed, as well as some of the history of jazz and film music.


First semester

Mode of Instruction


Assesment Method

Written paper


Donald J. Grout & Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music (Edition of choice)


NB: this course is NOT listed in Usis. Students are obliged to register for this course through the application form that can be downloaded via this link.

Application form


Tim Soekkha
Kolja Meeuwsen