Mediaeval Christmas carols

Course Dates: 10/12/24
Time: 13:00 - 15:30
Location: Keeley Street
Tutors: 
Discover the rich heritage of medieval Christmas carols. Learn about traditional forms of the carol and the history behind selected examples.
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Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00

Mediaeval Christmas carols
  • Course Code: MD040A
  • Dates: 10/12/24 - 10/12/24
  • Time: 13:00 - 15:30
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Edward Breen

Course Code: MD040A

Tue, day, 10 Dec - 10 Dec '24

Duration: 1 session

Any questions? music@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0412

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course will focus on the carols written for the Christian celebration of Christmas and its associated feasts: Advent and Epiphany. We may also consider a few carols from the feast of the Annunciation, which in medieval times were traditionally sung at Christmas. Many of the carol tunes will be known from modern, regularised versions but they will be studied here in their older forms.
You may also be interested in related Christmas courses: Nine lessons and Carol, Christmas carols sing-along, German Christmas carols, Christmas crooning.

What will we cover?

- What is a carol?
- various forms of carols
- What makes a carol a ‘Christmas carol’
- Technical language of medieval carols: burden, refrain etc…
- Examples of Christmas carols in manuscript and performance.

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

- recognise key forms of medieval carols (Christmas examples)
- feel confident using some technical language to describe carols
- read the Medieval lyrics and recognise some common themes.

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

This course is suitable for all levels. We may look at a music scores and identify key features of music notation (how many violins are playing, 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?

Tutor presentation, guided listening, class discussion and debate, video and score study.
Course materials will be shared via Google Classroom: handouts, scores, links to online audio and video, recommendations to encourage and support further reading and listening outside class.

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

Please have a pen and notebook to make your own notes during class. You may wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class; links to these materials will be available after the course.

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

City Lit offers a wide range of Music history courses. For more information, visit our Guide to the Music history programme.

Edward Breen Tutor Website

Edward teaches music history and music theory at City lit where he is Head of Programme: Advanced Studies in the School of Performing Arts. His specialism is early music (medieval, renaissance and baroque periods) and he completed his PhD in historical musicology at King's College London (2013) on the performance of medieval music. Outside of teaching, Edward is a regular contributor to Gramophone magazine and has lectured for Dartington International Summer School, London's Southbank Centre and The British Library. He has also worked as a researcher for BBC Proms and written for the journal Early Music (OUP). His recent essays are published in: The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music, (Cambridge University Press); The Montpellier Codex: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music 16 (Boydell Press); Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen (Ashgate 2018); and 30-Second Classical Music (Ivy Press).

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.