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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. break week: Tues 18 Feb 2020.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £121.00

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Beethoven piano sonatas 2

    Course Date: Fri 17 Jan 2020
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A history and score-study/analysis class for pianists/musicians of a grade 5+ standard in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

    Please note, this course module does not have a mid-term break.
    Full fee: £179.00
    Senior fee: £143.00
    Concession: £109.00

  8. Exploring classical music: module 2

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 22 Jan 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: International House
    Enrich your understanding of music history. This module explores Baroque to Classical and leads to MD030C –

    Romantic to Modern, next term. Ideal for people with no specialist knowledge. please note this evening course does not have a mid-term break.
    Full fee: £169.00
    Senior fee: £169.00
    Concession: £103.00

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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