Music history

Music History Courses in London and Online

City Lit offers an extensive programme of online music history and music appreciation courses with a focus on Western classical music, Folk, Jazz, Rock and Pop. There are new topics each year across a growing range of music styles and traditions.

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 our 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.

Our staff are all professional musicians who teach, write, broadcast, lecture and perform widely. In recent years they have worked with BBC Radio 3, Gramophone magazine, Birkbeck (University of London), The Open University, Oxford and Cambridge University Press, Early Music, The Orchestra of the age of Enlightenment, The Wigmore Hall and the Aldeburgh Festival.

Many of our students learn for pleasure but some also come to enhance their careers: recent examples include board members of music charities, marketing and administration professionals from orchestras and gap-year students considering university entrance.

Feel free to browse our programme and do email us at music@citylit.ac.uk with any questions.

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  1. Bob Dylan: an introduction to his music
    Course Date:  Fri 11 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the impact that Bob Dylan has had on popular music with a special focus on the 1960s. Through analysis of his songs and a history of the 1960s we will see how his influence extends beyond the American folk music revival.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £66.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  2. Dido and Aeneas: from Virgil to Purcell
    Course Date:  Wed 23 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore Purcell’s ever-popular opera from Virgil’s original tale to Nahum Tate’s English libretto, and discover key features of Purcell’s musical language.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £18.00
  3. Agrippina: from Roman history to Handel opera
    Course Date:  Thu 24 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore Handel’s first major operatic success – Agrippina – and the historical background to this legendary operatic figure.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £18.00
  4. Music history book club
    Course Date:  Mon 5 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The music history book club meets towards the end of each term to discuss novels and biographies with musical themes and references relevant to the music history programme. This term’s book: An Equal Music (Vikram Seth).

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  5. Great works: Vivaldi's Four Seasons
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore Vivaldi’s most famous concertos and discover the stories behind these works whilst learning to recognize key features of the baroque style.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £24.00
  6. A brief history of improvisation in classical music
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course explores the practice of improvisation in classical music, spanning the Baroque period to contemporary music. You'll explore music of composers including Bach, Mozaty, Liszt and Clara Schumann and discover how improvisation features in contemporary classical music-making.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00
  7. Great artists: Pauline Viardot
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Celebrated mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot was born in 1821 into a singing dynasty. Many composers wrote for her. She composed herself, becoming central to music in France, and leaving a remarkable and enduring legacy.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  8. Introduction to the music of Igor Stravinsky
    Course Date:  Wed 14 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Get to know Stravinsky’s music through a course that explores his life, the times he lived in and the aesthetic movements he was part of.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00
  9. Great works: Stravinsky's Apollo
    Course Date:  Fri 16 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Stravinsky’s music was choreographed first by Adolph Bolm, and then by the 24-year-old George Balanchine, in 1928. We explore the music, the dance, and the originality of the work’s neoclassical inspiration.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £24.00
  10. Great albums: Revolver
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn the history of The Beatles’ hugely successful and influential seventh album. We’ll explore how Revolver was written and recorded, its reception history and what gives the album its enduring appeal.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £18.00
  11. Great works: Berlioz's Evenings with the Orchestra
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    French Romantic composer Berlioz was a highly original and influential composer of orchestral music, and also an eccentric, opinionated and often hilarious writer on music. Explore mid 19th century musical life through his delightful Evenings in the Orchestra.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £24.00
  12. Great albums: Kind of Blue
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Everything you have always wanted to know about this extraordinary recording , one of the most critically acclaimed but also commercially successful in the history of jazz.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £18.00
  13. Jazz today
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore and survey jazz music as we find it today, and consider how it has developed over the past forty years through this short, online course.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  14. Opera appreciation: an introduction
    Course Date:  Mon 26 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is opera? And how do you approach it? Explore the ostentatious, sometimes overwhelming, world of opera through study of two major works and styles.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  15. Classical music: an introduction
    Course Date:  Tue 27 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you interested in finding out more about classical music but not sure where to start? This taster course will introduce you to classical music through a careful choice of works.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100

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