Great works: Ravel's Boléro

Course Dates: 01/04/20
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Explore the ideas behind one of the most famous works of the twentieth century, and some of its many interpretations. Be entranced anew by this hypnotic work.


What is the course about?

Boléro is one of the most famous works in 20th century Western music, yet consists of only one rhythm and two tunes, repeated for around 15 minutes. What inspired its composer, Maurice Ravel to write such an extraordinary piece, and why has it become so popular?

What will we cover?

- Ravel’s sources of inspiration for the work, in the context of his own œuvre and the broader context of trends in French and European music in the early 20th century
- Performance traditions from the première of Boléro onwards
- Dramatic and dance interpretations
- Boléro in the contemporary popular imagination.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand why and how Ravel wrote this extraordinary work
- Know more about the history of the work
- compare and contrast different musical and dramatic interpretations of Boléro
- expand your ideas about what Boléro means to you.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No prior knowledge of the subject is required. You do not need to read music to take this course (although we will look at some simple music notation to identify patterns in the music).

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts, powerpoint slides or writing on a whiteboard
Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples
Class discussion and debate.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring a notebook and pen.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

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.

Tutor Biographies
Trish Shaw

Trish trained as a violinist, singer and historical musicologist, with a specialism in music since 1900. She has worked variously as a university and college lecturer, choral conductor and arranger, and orchestral violinist, and has taught a wide range of subjects including choral singing and conducting, composition techniques, music theory, analysis and musicianship, music history, violin and chamber music. She has published and presented at conferences on French music (especially Ravel), and Australian music and cultural history. At City Lit, Trish currently teaches Choir at Lunchtime and Composition techniques, and supports Orchestra workshop. Her interests in the arts also include contemporary theatre, dance and visual arts.

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.

Book your place

Course Code: MD701B

Wed, day, 01 Apr - 01 Apr '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £29.00
Senior fee: £23.00
Concession: £18.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2630

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.