Music history - Keeley Street

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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Items 1-15 of 34

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  1. An introduction to Gurbani Sangita
    Course start date:  Mon 15 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cheslav Singh
    Gurbani Sangita is the music of the Sikhs; once widely present in the Indian subcontinent and beyond, a pinnacle of musical excellence, it is now nearly extinct. In this short session, many facets of this still potent, living tradition will be explored, including unique musical compositions, melodic modes, pedagogical processes and instruments.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00
  2. Great works: Rhapsody in Blue
    Course start date:  Thu 18 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    100 years ago a 26-year-old New York songwriter realised that his name appeared on a concert poster advertising An Experiment in Modern Music, featuring a piece composed by him. He had five weeks to complete it, and the result was Rhapsody in Blue.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £29.00
  3. Great artists: Leonard Bernstein
    Course start date:  Thu 18 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was a brilliant conductor, composer, and educator, and a sometimes controversial public figure. We explore his music in the context of the arts in America, looking especially at his effortless assimilation of popular and classical styles.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £29.00
  4. Classic albums 1966–1973: The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, David Bowie and Pink Floyd
    Course start date:  Mon 22 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Toby Manning
    Explore the making and meanings of four classic albums released 1966–1973 that reflect and define their era: The Beatles’ Revolver, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
  5. Classical music: an introduction
    Course start date:  Mon 22 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    Are you interested in finding out more about classical music but not sure where to start? This taster course will introduce you to the history of music through a careful choice of works.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  6. Opera appreciation: an introduction
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    What is opera? And how do you approach watching and listening to it? Explore the ostentatious, sometimes overwhelming, world of opera through study of two major works and styles.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00
  7. Great composers: Ferruccio Busoni
    Course start date:  Tue 6 Aug 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Karl Lutchmayer
    Explore the music and ideas of Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924). Learn about his journey from Romantic pianist to Modernist composer and aesthetician, and how his music fits in with other early-20th century composers such as Schoenberg, Bartók and Stravinsky. Listen to some live performances of his most important piano works.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £59.00
  8. Great instruments: the theremin and its music
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 7 Aug 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Karl Lutchmayer
    Discover the world’s first electrical musical instrument, its curious history and influence, and get a chance to learn how to play it!
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00
  9. Mozart: the early operas
    Course start date:  Mon 16 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Edward Breen
    Explore Mozart’s operas from Bastien und Bastienne (1768) to Idomeneo, re di Creta (1780-81). Discover the stories and the music of these youthful works and learn about Mozart’s early biography. Break week: 28 Oct 2024.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £174.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Music in France from Berlioz to Boulez
    Course start date:  Tue 17 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Edward Henderson
    Explore French art music from Berlioz to Boulez including familiar names like Debussy and Ravel and then explore modernist movements in France. NB: break week 29 October 2024.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £174.00
  11. Exploring classical music: module 3
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Apr 2024 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Neil Luck
    Do you want to know more about classical music history? Explore selected topics and key works in Romantic and modern music on this highly informative 10 week course. Ideal for people with no specialist knowledge. Please note this course has a mid-term break: 28 May 2024.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. Jazz today
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Albi Gravener
    An exploration of jazz music as we find it today and as it has developed over the past forty years.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £90.00
  13. Exploring the music of Anton Bruckner
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Katy Hamilton
    Composer of vast symphonies, virtuoso organist, mystic… simpleton? Anton Bruckner’s remarkable catalogue of works and unorthodox career path – not to mention his seeming lack of confidence in his own abilities, even as a senior musical figure – have long been a subject of fascination. Come and discover more about this brilliant, unusual figure and his music.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £90.00
  14. Cole Porter: I get a kick out of you
    Course start date:  Thu 26 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    Composer and lyricist Cole Porter’s shows epitomised the wit and glitz of the 30s - in contrast to some aspects of his personal life. We explore both, with plenty of song and dance to watch along the way. This course has a scheduled break week: 31st Oct 2024.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £174.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
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