English 170

Literature: Literature and the Arts

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2008 Hanson, Kristin
Hanson, Kristin
MWF 11-12 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Campion, T., Dowland, J. and Johnson, R.: various lute songs; Byrd, W.: The Great Service; Milton, J. and Lawes, H.: Comus; Tate, N. and Purcell, H.: Dido and Aeneas; Gay, J. and Pepusch, J.C.:The Beggar's Opera, Watts, I: various hymns; Handel, G.F. and Gay, J.: Acis and Galatea, Dryden, J. and Handel, G.F.: A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, Dryden, J. and Handel, G.F.: Alexander's Feast, Handel, G.F., Jennens, C. and Milton, J.: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il moderato; Handel, G.F. and Jennens, C.: Messiah


"Literature, especially poetry, has in common with one other art, music, that a key element of its aesthetic structure is rhythm. This course will explore rhythm, considering how even its most basic forms are similar yet also different in each of these arts and also in ordinary experience, including language. This subject has been broached in recent work on ""textsetting"", bringing psychology, linguistics, music and poetics together in studies of how words are set to tunes in folk songs. We will build on the formal foundation established by this work, and use it to address aesthetic questions raised by textsetting in more ambitious works of art. These works will be drawn primarily from the eighteenth century, a particularly flourishing time for collaborations between poets and composers in England. The course will include several excursions to hear live performances. There are no prerequisites.


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