Music in the Classical and Romantic Eras (MCGY2612)


This unit will survey the main lines of musical development between 1750 and 1890, with primary focus on the composition of music, and how this relates to the social and aesthetic currents of the time. The overview given in the lecture series will be reinforced by detailed focus on individual works in the tutorials from both historical and analytical perspectives. Topics will include the emergence and codification of classical form and syntax; style and genre in the works of the first Viennese School; Beethoven's 'heroic' and 'late' styles; national opera traditions; symphonic poem and music drama; nationalism and exoticism; and the conflict between progress and tradition.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tut/week


Essay (30%); Tutorial assignments and participation (20%); In-Class tests (20%); 2-hour exam (30%)


J. P. Burkholder, D. J. Grout, and C. V. Palisca: A History of Western Music. 9th ed. (2014).

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.