Music from the Middle Ages to Baroque (MCGY2611)


This unit explores major topics in the history of Western art music from the 9th century through to c. 1750 in a broad historical context. Beginning with Gregorian chant and the invention of music education notation, we investigate a wide range of genres, and styles, developments in musical instruments, and innovations of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras, as well as innovations including the development of music printing, developments in musical instruments, and the emergence of opera, sonata and concerto. Among Musical works for analysis and discussion are include examples by Hildegard of Bingen, Machaut, Dufay, Josquin, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Lully, Purcell, Vivaldi, Handel and J.S. Bach.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


One 2hr lecture/1hr tutorial/week


Tutorial assignments (20%), essay (40%), exam (40%)


J. P. Burkholder and C. V. Palisca. Norton Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1, 6th ed. (2010)
J. P. Burkholder, D. J. Grout, and C. V. Palisca. A History of Western Music, 8th ed. (2010)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

Ability to read musical notation

Additional Information

This is a Foundation unit in Analysis, history and culture studies.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.