Music 261E: Nineteenth-Century Performance Practice

The course is a seminar in Romantic performance practice. It meets on Tuesdays from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Anyone registering for this seminar MUST attend all three hours of all classes (no exceptions). There will be no class the week of October 20, and one private meeting on the final paper will substitute (time to be arranged).


  • Dahlhaus, Carl, Between Romanticism and Modernism, (Berkeley, 1980).
  • Kramer, Lawrence, Music as Cultural Practice 1800-1900, (Berkeley, 1993).
  • Nietszhe, Friedrich, The Birth of Tragedy, (London, 1993).
  • Rosen, Charles, The Romantic Generation, (Cambridge, 1995).
  • Xerox packet from Academic Publishing.

  • October 6; Introduction: what is the focus of the course?
    Differences in the perception of musical space.
  • October 13;
    Defining the background of Romanticism and musical hermeneutics:
    Read Jean Paul,"Vorschule der Aesthetik" and E.T.A. Hoffman, "The Poet and the Composer" (xerox packet). Read Lawrence Kramer, Preface and "Tropes and Windows" in Music as Cultural Practice.
    Also read Leonard Ratner, Chapter One (PP. 3-14) of Romantic Music, Sound and Syntax (xerox packet) for a precis of first weeks discussion of sound and musical space.
    Read Rosen, The Romantic Generation, Chapter One, "Music and Sound" (PP. 1-40).
  • October 20; (no class).
  • October 27; Philosophy.
    Begin reading Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy in order to discuss the whole book. Class projects should also be set and will begin at this time.
  • November 3; The literary aesthetic.
    Also read Nietzsche, "On Music and Words" at the end of Dalhaus, Between Romanticism and Modernism.
    Read Rosen, Chapter Twelve excerpt "Schumann: Triumph and Failure of the Romantic Ideal" PP. 645-673.
  • November 10; The piano as protagonist and the orchestra as drama.
    Read Ratner, Chaps. Three and Four (PP. 31-47 and 54-65, xerox packet).
    Read Kramer, Chapter Two (PP. 21-71), "Beethoven's Two-Movement Piano Sonatas."
    Read Kramer, Chapter 3, "Impossible Objects" (PP. 3-101).
    Read Rosen, Chapter Five, "Chopin: Counterpoint and the Narrative Forms" (PP. 279-322 and 342-360) and "Liszt" PP. 491-506.
  • November 17; New sounds, The Lied as an engine of dreams.
    Read Ratner, Chapter Five (PP.104-123) and Chapter Eleven (PP. 187-199). Also read Kravitt, Chapter One in The Lied (PP.1-16) from xerox packet. Read Rosen, Chapter Three, "Mountains and Song Cycles" (PP. 116-166).
  • November 24; Late Romantcism.
    Read Dalhaus, PP. 19-75.
    I will make refernce to Rosen, Chapter Six, "Chopin: Virtuosity Transformed."
  • December1; The undying aesthetic.
    Read Kravitt, Chapter X excerpt (PP. 177-198).
    Read Kramer, Chapter 5, "Musical Form and Fin-de-Siecle Sexuality." (PP. 135-175).
  • December 8; Nationalism and the future of music: eventual deconstruction? What about Opera?
    Read Dalhaus, PP. 79-95.
    Read Kramer, PP. 176-183 and 203-213.
    Read Rosen, "Opera" (Chap. Eleven excerpt), PP. 639-645.


    1. Throughout the quarter, students will bring in projects related to 19th-century works which they are preparing for recitals. These Master Class sessions form the core of the course. The substance of the session will be written up in outline form by the student to be turned in by the exam week.
    2. Students will also be looking for examples from the literature which illustrate the basic issues.
    3. Feel free to call Reale at home any time between 9AM and 9PM or e-mail him for questions. This syllabus is available at under the Educational Resources heading.

    Updated: October 5, 1998.