Great works: Rhapsody in Blue

Course Dates: 18/07/24
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Keeley Street
100 years ago a 26-year-old New York songwriter realised that his name appeared on a concert poster advertising An Experiment in Modern Music, featuring a piece composed by him. He had five weeks to complete it, and the result was Rhapsody in Blue.
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Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £29.00

Great works: Rhapsody in Blue
  • Course Code: MD701C
  • Dates: 18/07/24 - 18/07/24
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Taught: Thu, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Pauline Greene

Course Code: MD701C

Thu, day, 18 Jul - 18 Jul '24

Duration: 1 session

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What is the course about?

Gershwin had already written some hit songs and Broadway shows but wanted to write more experimental and longer works, incorporating jazz and current 20s popular styles into ‘serious’ music. We trace his origins and see how his expanding musical ambitions turned into a new kind of music, leading to this remarkable work and more before his untimely death.

What will we cover?

- a brief outline of Gershwin’s life and musical background
- a brief outline of musical activity at the time, including popular, stage, jazz and classical music
- a close study of Rhapsody in Blue, identifying classical and popular elements.

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

- place Rhapsody in Blue in the context of its time musically
- understand Gershwin’s musical background and training
- enjoy and identify elements of different musical styles in this work.

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.
You will need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions and engage in class discussions in English, and take your own notes.

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

Tutor presentation, class discussion, guided listening and watching.
Course materials will be shared via Google Classroom, with options for you to explore further after the course.

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

Please bring a notebook and pen to take your own notes.

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

Read our blog to find out more about Music history courses in London and online at City Lit, and click on the links to read the full course outlines.

Pauline Greene

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 taught at Birkbeck from 1984-2023, moving from Music to Arts Management, and currently lectures on the MA in Events and Experience Management 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.