Great works: Stabat mater from plainchant to Pärt

Course Dates: 18/04/24
Time: 10:30 - 15:30
Location: Keeley Street
This course examines a core Latin Christian hymn text, Stabat mater dolorosa, which has received dozens of musical settings over eight centuries, from the 13th century to the present day. Why does this particular text hold such fascination for composers, and how has its meaning been interpreted through music?
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Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00

Course Code: MD701B

Thu, day, 18 Apr - 18 Apr '24

Duration: 1 session

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What is the course about?

What is the Stabat mater hymn, and why has it received so many musical settings over many centuries? You will learn about the musical languages styles through which this text has been interpreted through listening, comparing and contrasting version by many different composers.

What will we cover?

- history, purpose, meaning and structure of the Stabat mater text
- the plainchant version (from the Liber usualis)
- which verses are usually chosen for polyphonic settings
- an overview of significant settings by composers of the Franco-Flemish Renaissance, Italian Baroque, Viennese Classical, European Romantic, and modern periods
- musical devices used to interpret the text
- the historical and cultural importance of the Stabat mater text.

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

- Understand the purpose, meaning, structure, and historical and cultural place of the Stabat mater text and its musical settings.
- Explain why composers have been so fascinated by this text for so long
- Hear the differences between musical styles and languages used to set the same text
- understand how and why the composers have made their creative choices in setting the text.

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

This is a beginners’ course. No prior knowledge of music or opera is assumed or expected.
This course focuses on a specific Christian sacred text and some of its many musical settings, and therefore will include discussion of Christian religious concepts and church history.

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

The session comprises lecture, discussion, guided listening. All course materials will be shared via Google Classroom. You will be encouraged to do further listening and reading after the session.

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

All resources will be provided in class, and available via Google Classroom for you explore further after the session.

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

Read our blog to find out more about City Lit's Music history courses in London and online. This lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week, and searchable by tutor name and keywords. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.

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 Orchestra workshop and short music history and theory courses. 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.