Music History & Appreciation Courses & Classes in London

City Lit offers an extensive programme of music history courses with a focus on Western classical music, Folk, Jazz, Rock and Pop. There are new topics each year and some are designed to coincide with anniversaries, festivals and events. This year we celebrate 250 years since the birth of Beethoven.
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 the 2019/20 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.
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  1. Introduction to contemporary music

    Course Date: Mon 28 Oct 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Discover key works of contemporary classical music, considering both how they function as an artwork and also the political and social context in which they were written, by exploring the exciting variety of new sounds and forms being created. Tutor: Pauline Greene [external website].
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  2. Bob Dylan: an introduction to his music

    Course Date: Fri 1 Nov 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  3. Liberace

    Course Date: Mon 2 Dec 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The name and the sparkle are familiar, but who was the man behind the image, and the personal and pianistic display? We investigate man and artist in the centenary year of his birth.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £24.00

  4. Christmas carols: a brief history

    Course Date: Wed 4 Dec 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Discover the rich heritage of Christmas carols. Learn about traditional forms of the carol and the history behind selected examples from the medieval to twentieth century.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

  5. Great works: Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

    Course Date: Thu 5 Dec 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Come and discover the poetic inspiration of this important early orchestral piece by Debussy which was to become one of his best-loved compositions.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £24.00

  6. Great works: Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld

    Course Date: Thu 5 Dec 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld presents us with a snapshot of the political and cultural world of Paris in the 19th century. Come and delve into this satirical sound world!
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £24.00

  7. Music history book club: Mozart's Women

    Course Date: Fri 6 Dec 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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 focusses on Mozart.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £12.00

  8. Opera studies 2: Mozart and Da Ponte

    Course Date: Mon 13 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A precocious musical prodigy turned hard-working freelance meets an exiled Italian-American libertine and professional librettist to create three long-lasting but controversial operas: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così Fan Tutte! This course has a scheduled break week: 17th February 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  9. Introduction to musicals

    Course Date: Mon 13 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  10. Music in wartime 2: émigré musicians abroad

    Course Date: Tue 14 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    From the 1930s onwards, a huge number of composers, performers and scholars found themselves displaced by political events in mainland Europe. From desperate flights to safety in Britain and the United States, to pre-emptive departures before regulations tightened, we consider the music of those men and women who were forced to learn to sing their songs in a foreign land. Tutor: Dr Katy Hamilton [external website]

    This course has a scheduled break week: 18th February 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  11. Beethoven and the concerto

    Course Date: Tue 14 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    In Beethoven’s hands the Classical concerto was converted into a heroic genre fit for the Romantic age. Come along and explore this musical transformation! No previous musical knowledge necessary. This course has a scheduled break week: 18th February 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  12. World music: an introduction

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 14 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: International House
    Explore a range of musical traditions from around the world: Indian raga and Bollywood; Ghanaian and South African grooves; Ottoman makam and Klezmer; Samba and Salsa. Listen for characteristic features and learn about the cultural settings in which they are produced.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £121.00

  13. Exploring classical music: module 2

    Course Date: Tue 14 Jan 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Enrich your understanding of music history. This module explores Baroque to Classical and leads to MD021C – Romantic to Modern, next term. Ideal for people with no specialist knowledge. This course has a scheduled break week: 18th February 2020.
    Full fee: £169.00
    Senior fee: £135.00
    Concession: £103.00

  14. Beethoven: the symphonies

    Course Date: Wed 15 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore Beethoven’s symphonic works. Beethoven in his career took the symphony from a Haydn-esque instrumental work into a humanity encompassing 90-minute extravaganza this course charts that story. This course has a scheduled break week: 19th February.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  15. Handel: the late oratorios

    Course Date: Wed 15 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore Handel’s late oratorios from Samson (1743) to The Triumph of Time and Truth (1757). Discover the stories and the histories behind these great works and learn about the later years of Handel’s own life. Tutor: Dr Edward Breen [external website]

    Scheduled break week 19 Feb 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

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