MUS 133(F) Men, Women, and Pianos

This course takes the piano, its repertory, and its performers as focal points for a social history of Western music since the late eighteenth century. In addition to exploring "serious" works by composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, we will consider "parlor" music and music by crowd-pleasing virtuosi such as Liszt and Gottschalk. We will also consider a broad range of classical, jazz, and popular performers, ranging from Clara Schumann, Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein and Glenn Gould through Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk to Liberace. Other topics will include the "cult of the virtuoso," the rise of the Victorian "piano girl," and the piano as a locus around which issues of gender, class and race are played out in nineteenth century and twentieth century musical life. Format: lecture/discussion. Two meetings per week. Evaluation based on participation, several short papers and quizzes, and a final project. No prerequisites. No enrollment limit.