Great composers: Stephen Sondheim
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MD665C
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
Sondheim was an immensely successful composer and lyricist. We trace his musical background and his work, examining several of his shows in detail. We’ll consider what makes them so distinctive and compare them to prevailing styles in musicals to understand why he was unpopular with some critics and audiences. We will also consider the range of his other work including music for films, theatre and concert-hall. Works to be looked at will include West Side Story, Company, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods.
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?
- Sondheim’s musical influences and early works
- An overview of his musicals
- Analysis of some of his key musicals and lyrics
- His relationship with critics, audiences and performers.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- review the works of Sondheim in context
- understand the elements which typified his style of creating musicals
- discuss several key musicals in detail.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginners’ course. No prior knowledge of dance or music is assumed or expected.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using a range of techniques including short lectures, slide shows and discussions, practical demonstrations on the piano and guided listening sessions. Courses use a variety of materials including YouTube clips. Links to these are given on Google Classroom so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please have a notebook and pen handy.
You may wish to buy some of the music or books recommended in class.
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.
Pauline Greene studied composition at Nottingham University and then composed, performed and was Musical Director with various theatre companies. She taught flute and composition, performing her music across the UK at various venues, including the Southbank Centre and the Edinburgh Festival, with her group The Concert Party, which she managed and directed. She has taught at the Universities of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, and ran the Music Access course at Morley College. She has taught at Birkbeck since 1984, moving from Music to Arts Management, and also lectures at Goldsmiths. She has given talks at the Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall and Glyndebourne. At City Lit Pauline teaches a wide range of music history courses, with specialisms in opera, music for dance, theatre and film, musical analysis, and music since 1900. She is still involved in the organisation of small-scale charity concerts and one-off musical events, and she sings and plays with several small groups.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.