2017-2018 Catalog

MUSC 268 Vienna, 1890-1914

This multidisciplinary course takes the crucible that was fin-de-siècle Vienna as its object of study beginning with the city’s 1890-92 expansion to include the suburbs south of the Danube to the beginning of World War I which brought an end to the Hapsburg dynasty and Austria-Hungary. Our approach to studying Vienna will be prismatic: each week will consist of one seminar on its music (principally the music of Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg) and one guest lecture on one of the following aspects of the city at this time: urban planning economics political history architecture art dance psychology medicine science and religion. The last three weeks on campus will be devoted to German language instruction and individual research projects. The on-campus component of the course will culminate in transforming Bird Studio into a Viennese coffee house which will welcome the campus community and during which students must impersonate through knowledgeable conversation a contemporaneous Viennese figure central to their field of research. This immersive on-campus study will crescendo to the downbeat of the course: the week after Commencement you will board a flight for Vienna for three weeks of intensive study there convening as a class each day attending lectures classes (including a cooking class!) and concerts and visiting the historical cultural and musical sites we studied on campus. We will take three three-hour guided walking tours of architectural monuments of historical (including music-historical) monuments and of Viennese coffee houses. Arriving during the cultural festival Vienna Festival Weeks we will attend as many of its offerings as time permits. Students must apply and participate in an interview for this course whose enrollment will be limited to sixteen students. Frosh may not apply for this course.


4 units


Sophomore standing

Core Requirements Met

  • Fine Arts
  • Regional Focus