What is the course about?
The ‘classic’ Christmas crooners appeared in the television programmes of the 1950 and 60s. Glittering in a perfect ‘White Christmas’ setting, they sang of every Christmas cliché imaginable. We will look at some singers and songs from this ‘Golden Age’, also considering the composers and brilliant instrumental arrangements that allowed them to shine, and think about why their appeal was so strong. Is there real quality beneath the veneer? Can it still enchant us?
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The Christmas songs of a representative sample from singers such as Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Charles Aznavour, Johnny Mathis, and Sammy Davis Jr.
- Their associated composers and arrangers
- Their signature performing style and repertoire.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the typical features of a ‘classic’ Christmas crooner’s hit song
- Recognise the component parts of the typical performing style
- Evaluate the impact of Christmas hits then and now.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginners’ course. No prior knowledge of music is assumed or expected.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course:
Sessions will be held via video-conference (google meets) and comprise combinations of lecture, discussion, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study. Course materials (handouts, scores, links to online videos) will be shared via google classroom.
You will be encouraged to do extra reading outside class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need a good internet connection and a computer with microphone & webcam. If using a tablet it will need a screen large enough for you to comfortably view the class handouts.
You may also wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class, links to these materials will be available online after each session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.