78079 - Methodology of Musical Analysis (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Music and Theatre Studies (cod. 8837)

Course contents

The Stylus phantasticus and the north european keyboard music of the 17th century

Since the mid-1600s, the term Stylus phantasticus has been adopted to describe music (expecially for keyboard) caracterized by a great amount of expressive purposes, which sounds surprising and improvised.

The course aims to define the specific compositional patterns in which this style could be detected, as an important detail highlighting more expanded aspects of the keyboard music of the 17th century and of its analysis.


1) Apel, Willi, Storia della musica per organo e altri strumenti da tasto fino al 1700, Sansoni, Firenze 1985, vol. II: pp. 476-496, 507-547; vol. III: pp. 809-831, 862-890, 894-913, 921-936, 954-986;

2) Barnett, Gregory, Organisation in Seventeenth-Century Music Theory, in The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory, ed. by Thomas Christensen, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, pp. 407-455;

3) Bianconi, Lorenzo, Il Seicento (Storia della musica, ed. by Società Italiana di Musicologia, vol. IV), EdT, Torino 1982 (or other editions), §§ 8, 9, 10 (pp. 47-66) e 14 (pp. 91-104);

4) Collins, Paul, Stylus Phantasticus, Ashgate, Burlington 2005;

or: Dirksen, Pieter, Heinrich Scheidemann's Keyboard Music: Transmission, Style and Chronology, Ashgate, Aldershot 2007;

5) Dahlhaus, Carl, Phrase et période. Contribution à une théorie de la syntaxe musicale, “Analyse musicale”, 13/4, 1988, pp. 37-44.
NB: the italian version, Frase e periodo. Per una teoria della sintassi musicale (“Musica/Realtà”, n. 109, 2016, pp. 81-99), does not fully translate the original text from German (Satz und Periode. Zur Theorie der musikalischen Syntax, "Zeitschrift für Musiktheorie", 9/2, 1978, pp. 16-26).
This essay is possibly to be corroborated by reading: A. Schönberg, Fundamentals of Musical Composition, Faber & Faber, London 1967, §§ 1-7. NB: not the italian version (Suvini Zerboni, Milano 1969)

Assessment methods

(1) Written test. Harmonic (modal and tonal aspects), syntactic-formal and contrapuntal analysis of a piece, related to the actual course, assigned by the teacher the same day of the exam. Allowed time: 3 hours. It is allowed to hear the assigned piece during the test, by means of earphones.

(2) Oral test. Discussion on the analysis above mentioned; questions on the essays in bibliography.

Office hours

See the website of Mauro Mastropasqua