What is the course about?
This module is part of a series forming a beginners guide to Western Classical Music, which aims to provide an understanding of how this music works and how it has developed from the early nineteenth century to the early 20th century.
No previous musical knowledge is necessary.
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?
- A chronological survey of classical music from Romantic to the present
- The elements of music (melody, harmony, rhythm etc) and how they work
- The development of styles (Romantic, Modern etc) and genres (Symphony, lied etc)
- Focus on certain key composers and their works including Schubert, Wagner and Stravinksy.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Have an overview of the development of classical music from Romantic to the present
- Show an understanding of the elements of music (melody, harmony, rhythm etc.) and how they work
- Have an understanding of the development of styles (Romantic, Modern etc) and genres (Symphony, lied etc)
- Show specific knowledge of certain key composers and their works.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge of music is required but you should have an interest in music and be keen to find out more. You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts
Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples
Class discussion and debate
Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled further online resources will be available.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen.
You may wish to buy some of the music or books recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Now that you have explored classical music on this overview course you may enjoy looking into some composers or specific genres in more detail. Look out in particular for our short July courses.
To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post Music history: your guide to the 2019/20 programme 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.