What is the course about?
This course covers the emergence of Romanticism in poetry, art and music, and traces the life and works of composers up to c.1830. We will explore the compositions of Beethoven and Schubert in Vienna, Meyerbeer and Auber in Paris, and the emergence of the virtuoso performer, first personified by Paganini. We will also consider the changing status of the musician during this period, and some of the cultural myths (particularly around Beethoven) which have emerged as a result. This is the first of a three-part course which runs throughout the academic year, covering the whole of the long nineteenth century.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Early definitions of Romanticism
- The innovations of Beethoven and Schubert in expanding classical forms
- French grand opera and gothic horror
- The rising status of the musician in society, including the emergence of the virtuoso.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Define Romanticism and its various characteristics in literature and music
- Identify key musical innovations made by Beethoven and Schubert to chamber, orchestral and vocal genres
- Identify the characteristics of French grand opera plots, and the role of gothic horror in French and German opera
- Explain how the shift in the public role of the musician changed during this period, and the impact this had on the public presentation of music.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course in intended to be accessible for anyone with an interest in western classical music. We will look at various scores and historical documents during this course but you do not need to read music notation to participate in these activities. All texts will be in English, or accompanied by an English translation. Musical scores are all available free online via IMSLP.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course:
Sessions will be held via video-conference (google meets) and comprise combinations of lecture, discussion, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study. Course materials (handouts, scores, links to online videos) will be shared via google classroom.
You will be encouraged to do extra reading outside class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need a good internet connection and a computer with microphone & webcam. If using a tablet it will need a screen large enough for you to comfortably view the class handouts.
You may also wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class, links to these materials will be available online after each session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We recommend: MD703B The long 19th century II: Salons and symphonies
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online 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.