MUHS3061: Music in the Austrian Empire

Teatro dell'Opera

Instructors: Dr. Eva Floyd and Dr. Jonathan Kregor

Location: Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary

Offered: Spring 2023

Course Description

The Austrian Empire (1804–1918) encompassed a large swath of central Europe and counted Béla Bartók, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, and dozens of other world-class musicians among its citizens. This course examines how the compositions, writings, and other activities of these musicians responded to—but also occasionally helped to shape—the Empire’s complex artistic, social, and political climates. A week-long study tour of Vienna and Budapest will provide an opportunity to experience how the Empire’s cultural legacy continues to the present day. Focus on primary sources, local institutions, and performances; knowledge of foreign language or music notation not necessary.

Forchtenstein Castle at dusk
Austria group in 2016, holding flag outside castle

Learning Objectives

Exploring the Austrian Empire will help develop your abilities to:

  • Recognize how political, economic, artistic, and other cultural forces gave rise to Vienna, Budapest, and Prague as unique centers of artistic creation
    Relate aspects of the culture and history of the Austrian Empire to events in our modern world  Identify, discuss, and write about aspects of Austro-Hungarian music, literature, and art in concrete terms using appropriate vocabulary
  • Evaluate the role of patronage and other economic forces in artistic creativity
  • Cultivate an historical imagination
  • Acquire an appreciation for another culture