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. Jazz piano: a history from blues to bebop and beyond

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 2 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Trace the development of jazz piano from its origins in New Orleans to later styles, including boogie woogie, stride, bebop, post bop and abstraction, and look at key influential pianists of the period.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £99.00
    Concession: £60.00

  2. Introduction to film music

    Course Date: Mon 24 Feb 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    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. Tutor: Pauline Greene [external website].
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  3. Singin' in the rain

    Course Date: Mon 30 Mar 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    This iconic musical film (1952), though slow to gain popularity, remains a favourite. With big stars and memorable choreography, many of the songs became classics. Let’s revel in the brilliant result.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

  4. Music history book club: The Cello Suites

    Course Date: Wed 1 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The music history book club meets towards the end of each term to discuss novels and biography with musical themes and references relevant to the music history programme. This term’s book focusses on Bach.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £12.00

  5. Great works: Ravel's Boléro

    Course Date: Wed 1 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore the ideas behind one of the most famous works of the twentieth century, and some of its many interpretations. Be entranced anew by this hypnotic work.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

  6. Great works: Haydn's The Creation

    Course Date: Thu 2 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore Haydn’s famous oratorio The Creation (Die Schöpfung) (1797-8). Discover the way Haydn depicts the creation of the world using a biblical-based libretto written by Gottfried van Swieten.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

  7. Great works: Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique

    Course Date: Thu 2 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Subtitled 'An Episode in the Life of an Artist, in Five Parts' this Symphony has become one of the most famous examples of Programme music from the first half of the 19th century. Come and learn about this famous work.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

  8. Great works: Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps

    Course Date: Fri 3 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The Rite of Spring was extraordinary for Nijinsky’s choreography and also the music of Stravinsky, shockingly thrilling its Paris audience. This overwhelmingly original composition, since choreographed over 100 times, greatly repays further study.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

  9. Music for film: a history

    Course Date: Mon 20 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Since the earliest silent films, music has been used for atmosphere, character and emotion. We examine the development of specialised film scores and composers for genres from art-house to blockbuster. Break week: 25 May (Bank holiday).
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  10. Opera studies 3: operas in production

    Course Date: Mon 20 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Take a look at operas coming up in the 2020-21 season, and at standard operatic repertoire. Discuss their composition, context, controversies and style, and then hear the story of the opera through musical examples. Break week: 25 May (Bank holiday).
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  11. Haydn and London: a profitable partnership

    Course Date: Tue 21 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    In 1791, at the peak of his compositional powers, Haydn arrived in London, the musical capital of Europe. Come and explore the impact that the city and the composer had on each other using the music that Haydn wrote to mark his arrival. No previous knowledge necessary. Scheduled break week: 26 May 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  12. Fight the power: the 70s political soul renaissance

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 21 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: International House
    FIGHT THE POWER! Learn how the Civil Rights movement, Black Power and urban unrest sparked a renaissance in late 60s/1970s soul music, producing landmark work by Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott Heron. This course has a scheduled break: 26th May.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £121.00

  13. Beethoven for beginners

    Course Date: Tue 21 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Ludwig van Beethoven’s music has come to stand for the greatest and best-known aspects of the Western classical tradition. But who was he? And what exactly did he do? Come and discover more about this most famous of Austro-German composers as we celebrate his 250th birthday in 2020. Tutor: Dr Katy Hamilton [external website]

    Ccheduled break week 26 May 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  14. Exploring classical music: module 3

    Course Date: Tue 21 Apr 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Enrich your understanding of music history. This module explores the 19th century to the present. Ideal for people with no specialist knowledge. This course has a scheduled break week: 26th May 2020.
    Full fee: £169.00
    Senior fee: £135.00
    Concession: £103.00

  15. French music since 1900

    Course Date: Wed 22 Apr 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore French art music in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will start by looking at familiar names like Debussy and Ravel and then explore modernist movements in France. This course has a scheduled break week: 27th May 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

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