This course will be a group exploration of the extraordinary music of Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827). Approaching his music chronologically, we will attempt to become acquainted with some of his major works, including his String Quartets, Piano Sonatas, Symphonies, his opera Fidelio, the Missa Solemnis, and others less well known, while also becoming familiar with his life and circumstances as an artist. Students who can read music will be expected to investigate the music from a musician’s perspective, but other students will be encouraged to bring their own types of expertise and curiosity to bear on the subject. Almost no subject—be it history, philosophy, geography, literature, mathematics, biology, visual arts, religion, humor—can be said to have no bearing on music of such range and universal reach. Classes will include viewing of videos, and in-class musical performances, along with lectures and discussions. Students will be expected to participate in these discussions. Assignments will include weekly listening and readings, small class presentations, a number of short response papers and two medium size (6-page) papers.