Nine lessons and carols

Course Dates: 09/12/24
Time: 13:00 - 15:30
Location: Online
What is a Service of nine lessons and carols? Where did it begin and how has it become associated with the chapel and choir of King’s College, Cambridge? Explore the cultural and musical history of this service in this short online course.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00

Nine lessons and carols
  • Course Code: MD040B
  • Dates: 09/12/24 - 09/12/24
  • Time: 13:00 - 15:30
  • Taught: Mon, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Edward Breen

Course Code: MD040B

Mon, day, 09 Dec - 09 Dec '24

Duration: 1 session

Any questions?
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 offers a short cultural history of the service of nine lessons and carols with a strong focus on the annual BBC broadcasts from King’s College, Cambridge, including during lockdown in 2020. During the course we also study nine carols typically associated with the service beginning with Boris Ord’s setting of "Adam lay ybounden.".

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.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- The origins of the Nine lessons and carols service
- The liturgical form of the service
- Broadcasting, including wartime broadcasts, from Cambridge
- What makes a carol a ‘Christmas Carol’
- Technical language of 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...

- understand the history and format of this service
- recognise key forms of Christmas carols (including ‘traditional’ examples)
- feel confident using some technical language to describe carols
- read lyrics and recognise several common themes.

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

No previous knowledge is required.
You need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions and engage in class discussion in English, and to take your own notes.

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

This is an online course. You will be taught through tutor presentation, guided listening and watching, class discussion.
Course materials will be shared via Google Classroom, with recommendations to encourage further exploration after the course.

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 each session. You may also wish to attend live performances.

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

You may be interested in other topics in City Lit's 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.