Introduction to contemporary classical music
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: MD027
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
Are you intimidated by contemporary classical music? Do you struggle to understand it or to conceive of why others might enjoy it? This course will introduce learners to some key classical works written in the 20th and 21st centuries, considering both how they function as an artwork and also the political and social context in which they were written. We will consider music by composers including Ligeti, Shostakovich, Reich, Górecki and more.
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?
- Some key movements in classical music in the 20th and 21st centuries
- Some important works written in this time period
- The links between music and key contemporary events
- Tips on how to listen to contemporary music
- Some technical changes in the way new music is composed.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Describe major movements in classical music during this period
- Explain key aspects of some major works
- Explain the context in which pieces were written and how they were affected by socio-political events
- Listen actively and with confidence to a range of new music making use of some technical terms.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels. No prior knowledge of music is assumed.
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 provided so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
Occasional short preparation tasks, such as listening to a piece of music or reading about a person or style, may be set from time to time. Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and, once enrolled, further online resources will be available via Google Classroom.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. However, 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 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.
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.