Great works: White Christmas

Course Dates: 04/12/23
Time: 14:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
How did we all become so obsessed with snow in December? From Irving Berlin’s song to its use in several films and on stage, we look at the huge impact of this little ditty which has become the defining image of Christmas for many.
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Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £29.00

Course Code: MD038A

Mon, day, 04 Dec - 04 Dec '23

Duration: 1 session

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What is the course about?

Starting with Berlin’s award-winning song, composed in 1942 for the film Holiday Inn, we look at its phenomenal success as a hit single recorded by many subsequent artists, as well as its original structure and meaning (the singer is not snow-bound after all). We’ll look briefly at Berlin the composer and lyricist, but also the context of this cosy image and its enduring link with the ‘ideal’ Christmas, even in places where the only snow is usually made of cotton wool or has to be sprayed onto the windows.

What will we cover?

- The background to writing the song and its composer
- A closer look at the structure and key features of the composition
- Its life after its first release.

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

- Understand the key features of this work’s music and lyrics
- Recognize how the song became popular as a stand-alone hit
- Feel confident to trace the legacy of the song and its connotations.

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

The course is suitable for students at all levels, and no special skills are needed. However, we will look at some music manuscripts and learn to identify key features of the music notation (where the chords change etc.) so this course will be most suitable for those who are curious and ambitious to learn.

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

Classes will involve lecture, discussion, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study. Course materials (handouts, scores, links to online videos) will be shared via google classroom.
You will be encouraged to do extra reading outside class.

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

Please have a notebook and pen handy for note-taking.
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

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.