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course syllabus

Here is the syllabus for the 2011 Study Abroad in Vienna program. The syllabus for the 2014 trip will be similar.




PREREQUISITES: University students in good standing.

 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Take the German course (GERM 1311) from your General Education requirements, preferably in the semester before taking this course.

 DESCRIPTION:  This course is an examination of the music and musical institutions of Vienna, Austria, including the composers, musicians, musical ensembles, musical organizations, museums and concert venues that have been and continue to be associated with this city. These topics will be studied within the context of the cultural and social background of the city of Vienna, which continues to be one of the artistic centers of the world.

 OBJECTIVES:  This course is designed to:

1. introduce the student to the music and styles of the composers who have called Vienna home.

2. introduce the student to the cultural institutions and performance venues of Vienna.

3. relate the music studied to the history & culture of Vienna, and to the visual arts & architecture.

4. improve the student’s analytical and critical thinking skills.

5. immerse the student in a foreign culture and large urban environment.


1. quizzes to test knowledge of music, institutions, musical styles, history and culture.

2. a journal of daily blogs about the music, culture and environment of Vienna.

3. a listening assignment consisting of three works that the student will hear in Vienna.

3. excursions to historical and cultural landmarks, and to live performances.


1. The course will be a mixture of traditional lecture, class discussion and on-site visits to places of historical and cultural importance.

2. There will be music listening and analysis during class, for homework, and in live concerts.



Name:    Dr. Art Brownlow


Phone:    TBA


1. Vienna. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide (available from for less than $20)

2. A Journal Notebook (can be physical or electronic)


 1. A German phrasebook (I prefer the one published by Lonely Planet).

 2. A laptop, Mp3 player, smart phone, tablet or notebook computer (preferably with listening assignments either loaded into memory, or set up for streaming).


Students should keep a journal of daily blogs (observations) about all things Vienna. Anything, musical or otherwise, that the student finds interesting, informative or educational about the city, its culture, or its people, can be used as blog material. The student should feel free to send these blogs home to friends and family. Also to be included are essays on three chosen musical works (see below). Upon arrival back in the States, students will clean up the material in the journal and provide both electronic and hard copy versions to the instructor for grading.


Choose three works, one each from the following categories: Chamber Music, Orchestral Music and Opera. Please refer to the attached list of works to be performed in Vienna during the trip. You would do well to familiarize yourselves with these works before you leave for Vienna, either by purchasing the recordings or listening to them through the Classical Music Database (streamed from the UTB.TSC Library website).

Listen carefully to each of these works outside of class. You will want to fully acquaint yourself with each work, so that when you hear it in concert your comprehension will be complete. When in Vienna make sure you go to the concerts during which your works will be performed. You must write a short essay (at least 700 words; approximately 1½ pages using Times 12 font in Microsoft Word) on each of these works in your journal in order to receive full credit for your journal grade. The essay should include basic information about the work and about the performance of the work. When writing, consider such questions as these:

·         Who composed this work? When was it composed, when was it first performed?

·         Why was the music composed? What were the circumstances?

·         Who were the performers? Where are they from? Are they well known?

·         Did the performance do justice to the composer’s intentions?

·         Did the interpretation match your own views of the work?

·         Did the performance venue affect your enjoyment of the work (negatively or positively)?

·         After several hearings, including a performance, do you like the work? Why, or why not?


 1.  Two quizzes on composers, facts, institutions, music, styles, etc. = 20% of the course grade

 2.  Class, concert and excursion participation = 40% of the course grade

 3.  Journal Notebook = 40% of the course grade

 4. Assignments will be graded on a 10-point scale.


Topics to be discussed and excursions are listed below.

DATE                               TOPIC

Su Mar 6                     Vienna Terminology & Geography (3:00–5:00; Eidman 101)

Su Apr 3                      Vienna History (3:00–5:00; Eidman 101)

Su Apr 10                    Vienna Musical Institutions (3:00–5:00; Eidman 101)

T May 17                     Arrival in Vienna, Austria

W May 18                   Short course meeting & walk to St. Marx Friedhof (combined classes)

                                  Attend Vienna Phil. performance at Staatsoper (afternoon & evening)

Th May 19                   Walking tour of Inner City; Tour Stephansdom (combined classes)

F May 20                     Ludwig van Beethoven

                                          Tour Musikverein

                                          Tour Beethovenhaus Heligenstadt & Dinner at Heuriger

M May 23                   18th Century; Gluck, Haydn & Mozart

                                          Visit Mozarthaus

T May 24                     Franz Schubert & Biedermeier Vienna (Lanner & Strauss, Sr.)

                                          Tour Staatsoper & Opera Museum

W May 25                   Tour Hofburg & Musical Instrument Museum (combined classes)

Th May 26                   Quiz No. 1; the Strauss Brothers & Johannes Brahms

                                          Tour Schubert’s Birth & Death Houses

F May 27                     Tour Kunsthistorisches Museum (combined classes)

M May 30                   Tour Schönbrunn Palace (combined classes)

T May 31                     End of the Empire: Bruckner, Wolf, Mahler, Schönberg, Berg & Webern

                                          Tour Haydnhaus & Brahms Room

W June 1                     Tour Belvedere Palace (combined classes)

Th June 2                     Quiz No. 2 (prepare for departure)



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