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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Great works: Stabat mater from plainchant to PärtCourse start date: Thu 18 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Trish ShawThis course examines a core Latin Christian hymn text, Stabat mater dolorosa, which has received dozens of musical settings over eight centuries, from the 13th century to the present day. Why does this particular text hold such fascination for composers, and how has its meaning been interpreted through music?Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00
- The symphony: a short historyCourse start date: Tue 23 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Edward HendersonExplore the history and development of the symphony from JC Bach to Beethoven and into the twentieth century. Break week: 28 May 2024.Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
- Exploring classical music: module 3Course start date: Tue 23 Apr 2024 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Edward BreenDo 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.
- Exploring classical music: module 2Course start date: Tue 16 Jan 2024 (and 2 other dates)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Neil LuckDo you want to know more about classical music history? Explore selected topics and key works in Baroque to Classical music on this highly informative 10 week course. Ideal for people with no specialist knowledge. NB: This course has no scheduled break week.
- Exploring opera 3Course start date: Thu 25 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Pauline GreeneJoin us to explore the history of opera over three enjoyable terms. In this third term we’ll explore Verdi, Wagner and the early 20th century. Break week: 30 May 2024.
- Operas in productionCourse start date: Thu 25 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Pauline GreeneLooking at ten of the operas coming up in the 2024 season, we will discuss their composition, context, controversies and style, and then hear the story of the opera through musical examples. Break week 30th May 2024.Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
- An introduction to Gurbani SangitaCourse start date: Mon 15 Jul 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Cheslav SinghGurbani 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
- Great works: Rhapsody in BlueCourse start date: Thu 18 Jul 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Pauline Greene100 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
- Great artists: Leonard BernsteinCourse start date: Thu 18 Jul 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Pauline GreeneLeonard 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
- Classical music: an introductionCourse start date: Mon 22 Jul 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Pauline GreeneAre 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.
- Classic albums 1966–1973: The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, David Bowie and Pink FloydCourse start date: Mon 22 Jul 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Toby ManningExplore 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
- Opera appreciation: an introductionCourse start date: Thu 25 Jul 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Pauline GreeneWhat 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
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