Comparative Arts 58.105/201
Dr. Liana Cheney


Comparative Art image

Syllabus of Lectures


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course studies the aesthetic, artistic and intellectual similarities between art history and music history in western and non-western cultures. Discussion of the arts focuses on the development in examining the human creativity and expression through the arts: from ancient times as "art and morality" followed in the Renaissance as "art and sciences" continued in the Enlightenment as "art and society" contrasted in the nineteenth century as "arts for arts sake" and arriving to the twentieth century as "art and entertainment."

Also this course surveys some of the fundamental aspects of music and art, such as the nature of aesthetic judgment, the task of art and music criticism, including formalist, representational, and contemporary theories on viewing, analyzing, and interpreting the arts. In addition, with a comparative analysis between the modes of visual and aura representation, visual and aura perception, this course analyzes the principal forms and genres of the visual and aural elements of art history and music history, providing an understanding for human creativity and expression.

ORGANIZATION: Although class discussion is strongly encouraged, this is primarily a lecture course based upon the visual content of art works presented by way of projected slides. Attendance is highly recommended for every class meeting. Students are responsible for the content of all lectures and assigned reading materials. Examinations are based on specific material covered in class and on the required readings.

CLASS COMPORTMENT: Since class lectures are professional presentations at the university level, you are not permitted to eat or drink during class lectures and discussion.

OFFICE HOURS: For Dr. Cheney: Monday-Wednesday 4:00-6:00 p.m., other times by appointment. My office is in Coburn Hall, Room 210.

-Tom Phillips, Music in Art. New York: Prestel, 1997.
-Milo Wold and Edmund Cykler, An Introduction to Music and Art in the Western World. New York: WM. C. Brown, Co, 1990.

(Further bibliography will be provided during the semester)

-Karin Pendle, ed. Women and Music: A History. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991.
-N. Bessaraboff, Musem of Fine Arts, Leslied Lindsey Mason Collection (Musical instruments) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1941.
-Sibyl Marcuse, A Survey of Musical Instruments. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1975.
-Eward Lippman, A History of Western Musical Aesthetics. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.
-Oliver Strunk and Leo Treitler, Source Readings in Music History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998.
-Anthony Rhodes, Musical Instrument from the Renaissance to the 19th Century. New York: The Hamlyn Publishing Company, 1970.
-Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin, Music in the Western World. New York: Schirmer, 1984.
-Donald Grout and Claude Palisca, A History of Western Music. New York. W. W. Norton, 1997
-H. W. Janson, History of Art. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. 1997.
-W. Fleming, Arts and Ideas. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1980.
-Emanuel Winternitz, Leonardo da Vinci as a Musician. New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1982.
-Emanuel Winternitz, Musical Instruments and Their Symbols. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1985.

Comparative Arts Distance Learning course (music files and lecture notes).

EXAMINATION: There will be three examinations on October 19 and November 16 and a Final Exam (date to be announced. Examinations are based on specific material covered in class and on the required readings. Examinations missed without prior written excuse from the instructor or written excuse for medical or other emergencies cannot be made up. No electronic mail, fax, telephone, or voice mail is acceptable.

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: On Nov. 9 notify me of your written assignment topic. The paper will be due on Dec 14. All late papers will be penalized. The paper should be approximately 10-15 pages long, double spaced and typed with illustrations. (Make sure that you keep a copy of your paper.) Suggested topics will be given at the beginning of the semester, along with a general instruction sheet for form of term papers. The computerized typing must be as follow: accepted fonts New York, Geneva, Courier, Palatino and Bookman; only 12 points in character; single space between paragraph, double space between lines; page margins one (1) inch all around. Papers written in any other format are not acceptable. The written assignment will be graded on form as well as content so that spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax are to be considered with some care. All work done outside of class must be type written or computer printed, double spaced. Suggested topics will be given at the beginning of the semester, along with a general instruction sheet for typing the paper.

NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: Be careful never to copy directly or directly adapt from another author without crediting the source. General sources must be listed in a bibliography; any direct quotation or paraphrase must be footnoted. Any unacknowledged copying will receive and F for the course.

HANDOUTS: A series of xeroxed materials will be given out throughout the course in order to help you with your reading and writing assignments.

EVALUATION: The final exam will count 20% of your final semester grade, the paper will count also 30% of your final semester grade and examinations accumulatively will count 50% of your final semester grade.

MUSEUM VISITS: Students are individually responsible for visiting the Musical Instruments Rooms at Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (both in Boston), the Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge), the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester).

OPTIONAL MUSEUM VISITS: Probably during the semester the Art History Club will sponsor some field trips to the Boston Museums. Also, there will be schedules of one or two trips to New York City, Worcester and, New Haven and Hartford, CT., and Washington, D.C. in order to visit some major exhibitions, music rooms or museums. You will be encouraged to attend, but not penalized for not participating in these trips.

(N.B. Subject to change with a week of prior notice)

Oct. 19 - EXAM I
Nov. 9 - Notification of Paper Topic
Nov. 16 - EXAM II
Dec. 14 - PAPER DUE
Dec. 15-22 - FINAL EXAMINATION PERIOD. Final Exam will be announced at a later date. Although the exam is not cumulative, you will be responsible for the assimilation of general concepts of art history and music history discussed throughout the course.

(N.B. Subject to change without prior notice)

Sep. 14 - Introduction: scope of the course
Discussion on Definition of Terms; Iconography
What are the Principles of Music History?
What are the Principles of Art History?
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, Introduction;
Wold, Music and Art, Chapter 2: Principles of Design in Art and Music

Sep. 21 - Mythology & Myths
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp 22-25, 36-37, 74-75, 110-111.

Sep. 28 - The Bible, Saints & Patronage
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp. 28-29, 50-51

Oct. 5 - Inspiration
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp .64-65 84-85,94-95, 98-99

Oct. 12 - NO CLASS, Columbus Day

Oct. 17 - Saturday (Make-up Day)
Museum Day. Boston Museum of Fine Arts/Music Instruments Room and Monet's Exhibit

Oct. 19 - EXAM I

Oct. 26 - The Instruments
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp. 32-33, 47-43, 52-53, 56-57, 66-67, 80-83, 88-89, 102-105, 112-113

Nov. 2 - Painting Music
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp. 38-39, 58-59, 70-73

Nov. 6 - New York Field Trip (Tentative)

Nov. 9 - Notification of paper topic
Music Lessons
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp. 78-79, 30-31, 60-61, 100-101, 104-107, 114-115

Nov. 16 - EXAM II

Nov. 23 - The Creators of Art & Music
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp. 34-35, 40-41, 44-45, 48-49, 54-55, 64-65, 86-87, 94-97, 118-119

Nov. 30 - Symbols & Vanitas
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp. 46-47, 62-63, 88-89, 116-117

Dec. 7 - Humor & Seduction
Reading: Phillips, Music and Art, pp. 26-27, 68-69, 78-79, 90-93, 108-109 102-103, 120-121

Dec. 14 - PAPER DUE