Hiram College

Germany – Fall 3-Week: November – December, 2019

The Faculty

Dawn Sonntag, Professor Music and German Language

The Course(s)

MUSIC: Music and German National Identity Preparation (one credit hour during Fall 12-week session, 2019)

INTD:  Music and German National Identity (three credit hours during Fall 3-week session, 2019)

Cultural Immersion

Music is an integral part of the German national identity. By spending three weeks studying in the region and immersing in German culture, you will examine first-hand the complex and important way music has influenced German culture and politics from 1800 to present, such as: 

  • an “ideal German music” that transcended all other music – setting Germany on its separate path from its European neighbors 
  • Johann Sebastian Bach’s role as national folk hero 
  • German Jews’ struggle for emancipation and equality, reflected through composers Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn 
  • composers who opposed the Nazi party and embraced atonality (a style outlawed by the Third Reich) and eventually set Germany on its course to becoming an international center for new music 

Through exploring important landmarks, interacting with locals and experiencing the places where these musicians worked, taught and lived, you will discover how the tensions and tragedies of the past are still reflected in contemporary views of music.



The Itinerary

You will experience a window into diverse aspects of German life and culture through exploration in four regions.

Heidelberg: The trip will begin with five days in Heidelberg, featuring guided literary and historical tours. Tour Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Way) and Heidelberg Castle – one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps – and possibly attend an opera. On a day trip from Heidelberg, visit Freiberg, where German philosopher Martin Heidegger taught.

Bayreuth: After traveling east by train, a short stay in Beyreuth will provide insight and exploration into the lives of composers Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. Visits will include tours of the Richard Wagner Museum at Haus Wahnfried and the Margravial Opera House.

Halle: The next part of the program will include four days in Halle (travel by train), a region important to Romanticism. The stay will include trips to Leipzig, where several German composers (Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann) all spent time. Leipzig is also a key political region, as it is where the oldest democratic party was founded in 1863 and home of the Battle of Leipzig, a catalyst for the quest for German unity in the 19th century.

Berlin: The last eight days of the trip will be spent in Berlin, Germany’s capital and largest city. Experience several historical tours on Berlin, the Third Reich, Jewish life in Berlin and the Berlin Wall. Other points of interest include the Mendelssohn House, Humboldt University and three opera houses.

Trip Prerequisites/Requirements

A one-credit-hour introduction course will be required prior to the trip, during the Fall 2019 12-Week. You should also plan to attend three orientation sessions on campus.

Students are responsible for obtaining a passport, passport fees and personal expenses.

Program Details

  • Program Costs:  $5,250 above tuition, room and board.  Costs include round trip airfare, housing, meals, entrance fees and tips.  Personal expenses, passport fees, and independent travel are not included.
  • Application Deadline:  March 8, 2019; A $75 non-refundable fee will be due upon receipt of your application.  This fee is used to pay for processing costs, an International Student Identity Card, passport holder, and luggage tags.