What is the course about?
Musical analysis "is the means of answering directly the question 'How does it work?’."(Bent, Ian (1987). Analysis. London: McMillan Press) It helps us better understand a piece of music, broadly explaining how a composer creates it and then how the audience interprets and responds to it. This course will continue to explore a variety of music, looking at techniques of composition in some detail, to understand both how composers produce work, and why audience members respond to it in particular ways. We will also briefly look at some of the more formal systems of musical analysis such as those of Schenker and Réti, and think about the value of formal and informal unpicking of music to expose its component parts - does this spoil the whole, or enhance its effect? We will analyse a broad variety of music, enabling students to apply their skills to many genres and styles, and will provide some procedures for participants to explore other music appreciation topics in greater depth.
What will we cover?
- Further technical aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, and orchestration
- More musical forms and structures
- More musical terminology
- Looking at scores
- A brief introduction to formal systems of analysis
- Why analyse music?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Analyse in some detail a variety of ways that composers makes use of tools such as melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, and the effect these have on the piece
- Place a piece of music in its compositional context
- Be able to extract information from a score
-Understand the purposes of musical analysis.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an intermediate course. Some prior knowledge of music and music theory is assumed: for example, you should be able to read music to the extent of understanding clefs, time- and key-signatures, note-names and chords, and you should be able to look at a simple music score and understand the basics of how it works. No performing ability is required. You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
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 given on handouts so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
Occasional short preparation tasks, such as listening to a piece or reading a review, 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?
- Please bring a notebook and pen.
- 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 appreciation classes and to read some of our recommendations, please see the blog post Music history and appreciation: the 2018/19 programme which lists our full programme of classes listed by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details