MUSV3107 - Between Romanticism and Modernism: Music and Thoughts in Vienna around 1900.


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2021/2022

Course content

This course explores music and cultural discourse in Vienna across the years 1890-1914. Characteristic of this time, also known as fin de siècle, is the recognition of an old era coming to an end and a new one emerging. In this era and city, we find the wellsprings of twelve-tone music and serialism, in addition to new tonal paths and early film music. This is the age of the young Arnold Schoenberg as well as Alban Berg, Gustav Mahler, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. This period further witnessed Jugendstil and symbolism, Sigmund Freud and Edvard Munch, Friedrich Nietzsche and Henrik Ibsen. In this course, historical, analytical, and aesthetic approaches to music study are combined with critical perspectives from art and cultural history. The syllabus is based upon a selection of musical works, a collection of original texts, and additional materials that will reveal the rich culture and thoughts of this age.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: A candidate who successfully completes MUSV 3107 – will have an increased knowledge of European music, art, and culture in the time span 1890-1914. – will have an increased knowledge of the city Vienna as a intellectual and cultural centre in the times preceding World War I. – will have an increased knowledge of the wellsprings of 20th-century musical modernism. – will have acquired knowledge of a broadened concept of modernism that, among others, is paving the path for film music. Skills: A candidate who successfully completes MUSV 3107 – can formulate his/her knowledge in a compelling manner in both written and spoken forms – can independently identify, assess, and develop understandings based on his/her acquired knowledge – is able to apply his/her acquired knowledge of analytical tools and research methods to new and unknown material – is able to reflect upon and further develop his/her own professional activities within the course’s particular field. General competence: A candidate who successfully completes MUSV 3107 has increased knowledge about the relationships between music, culture, and thoughts.

Learning methods and activities

This course contains lectures and seminars in which the students are supposed to actively participate. Assessment: The home examination has a maximum length of 15 pages (6 000 words).

Specific conditions

Required previous knowledge

Requires admission to one of the Bachelor's programmes or Master's programmes in Musicology, Music Technology or Music Performance.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level



Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Music History
  • Cultural History
  • History
  • Musicology
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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