Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module MUSI2741: Music in Italy 1850-1950

Department: Music

MUSI2741: Music in Italy 1850-1950

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2017/18 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • MUSI1261 Historical Studies 1


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with a detailed insight into the musical movements in Italy during this period, making constant reference to the political, sociological and cultural backcloth to attain a clear view of cause and effect.


  • To include: In the shadow of opera: instrumental rebirth in the mid-19th century (Martucci, Sgambati, Bazzini, Bossi). Verdi and the Risorgimento. Verdi and Shakespeare. Verismo. Puccini and the taste of the Bourgeoisie. The Generazione dell’Ottanta. Casella – a European presence. Malipiero, eccentric pioneer. Respighi, between antique and Technicolor. The choral music of Pizzetti. New approaches to music-drama. Puccini and the younger generation. D’Annunzio and music. Tito Ricordi and the search for Puccini’s successor. Fascism, Futurism and Optimism. The intractable art of Giorgio Federico Ghedini. The young generation (1): Dallapiccola, pre-serial works, musica impegnata – Canti di Prigionia, Il Prigioniero, ‘pink clouds’ – a softer dodecaphony. The young generation (2): Petrassi - musical chameleon, neoclassicism, free atonal works, serialism, relations with the avant-garde. The degenerate stage of Fascism: race laws and Leone Sinigaglia. The critical establishment: de Paoli, Gatti, d’Amico and Mila. Musical periodicals. Post-war trends.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will acquire a knowledge of:
  • Seminal repertoire from the period.
  • The relationship of the repertoire to the contemporary cultural, social and historical context.
  • The dominant intellectual issues in relation to this repertoire.
  • The principal stylistic trends in evidence .
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will learn to apply appropriate methodologies from a broad range of critical standpoints – historical, political, cultural and philosophical.
  • Related research skills that are applicable across a wide range of musical topics and sub-disciplines.
  • The ability to evaluate critically historical accounts of the period covered.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to identify and conceptualize the issues raised.
  • The ability to situate ideas in a context and to engage in critically informed argument.
  • The ability to use appropriate evaluative skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 Weekly 1 hour 21
Seminars/Tutorials 6 3 in each of the first two terms 1 hour 6
Reading, listening and preparation 173

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
3,000 word essay 3,000 words 100% yes
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
3,000 word essay 3,000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

A formative essay (1,500 words) and a presentation (10 minutes).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University