Romanticism and the Fantastic (MCGY3629)


This unit will explore the fantastic as a central aspect of romanticism in its various manifestations, including the uncanny, the daemonic and the alienated. In music, this meshes fruitfully with the fantasy as a genre, which is similarly dependent on the imagination and the evasion of clear boundaries. A range of Lieder, operas, symphonic and solo works by composers such as Schumann, Berlioz, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Schubert will be studied against the backdrop of literary and artistic innovations by Goethe, Hoffmann, Byron, and Friedrich. Theories of the fantastic by Todorov, Freud and others will also be examined.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


One 2-hour seminar/wk


Essay (30%); Critical and analytical assignment (20%); Listening and score-based tests (20%); In-class presentation (20%); seminar participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



Assumed knowledge

It is expected that students will have some knowledge of harmonic and formal practices up to 1850.


MCGY3029 or MCGY3037

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.