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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  1. Introduction to film music
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    Music has always been an important part of film-going, filling the silence and creating sometimes startling effects. We will look at the way directors have used music to enhance, enrich and enthral audiences from cinema’s earliest days.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  2. Amy Beach: an introduction
    Course start date:  Thu 2 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Katy Hamilton




    In the last few decades of the nineteenth century, as American composers were starting to determine their own nationalist approach to art music, the brilliant pianist and composer Amy Beach was a hugely popular figure in US musical life – in defiance of her family and husband. Come and learn about this symphonist who offered her own ‘reply’ to Dvorák’s Symphony ‘From the New World’.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  3. Introduction to musicals
    Course start date:  Mon 16 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    From Showboat to Hamilton, this course surveys some key examples from the history of the modern musical and examines the way different styles of music, dance and words work on stage.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  4. Rachmaninov: an introduction
    Course start date:  Thu 19 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Katy Hamilton
    The train whistles past the camera in the opening scene of Brief Encounter (1945) and we hear the opening bars of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto – an iconic film that made this already wildly popular piece even more successful. But what of the work’s composer, who had died just two years before? We trace the turbulent career of this virtuoso musician.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00

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