The long 19th century II: Salons and symphonies

Course Dates: 14/01/21 - 25/03/21
Time: 14:00 - 16:10
Location: Online

We continue our journey through the music of the 1800s with Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Donizetti, and the world of performance in private homes and ever grander public spaces. This course has a scheduled break week: 18 Feb 2021.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

Following our introduction to the early Romantics in term one, we now move to the next generation, beginning with the very different definitions of virtuosity as demonstrated by Liszt and Chopin. We will also consider the development of Italian opera prior to Verdi, and explore the growing interest in ‘old’ music which led to the Bach revival. As the course progresses, we will also touch on the burgeoning ‘War of the Romantics’, as composers sought to find new (and sometimes conflicting) directions for the symphony after Beethoven.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- The piano compositions of Chopin and Liszt
- The development of Italian opera pre-Verdi
- The invention of ‘classical music’ and shifts in concert programming
- The symphonic innovations of Berlioz and Liszt
- Brahms and the ‘conservative’ symphonic approach.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Differentiate the virtuosic approaches of Liszt and Chopin
- Define the principal structures of Italian bel canto opera
- Explain the impact of composers increasingly looking backwards to historical models, both on compositional approach and concert programming
- Define the ‘War of the Romantics’
- Describe the different approaches to symphonic writing taken by Berlioz, Liszt and Brahms.

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 We will look at various scores and historical documents during this course but you do not need to read music notation to participate in these activities.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: MD036C - The long 19th century III

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.


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

An excellent overview of European music in the 19th century, and how it evolved in different countries.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 12/03/2019)
The tutor is an exceptionally good teacher and the course has been very worthwhile. Interesting, enjoyable and interactive with god material. I have definitely learnt a lot.
Course Rating
Review by Dafna / (Posted on 12/03/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Katy Hamilton Tutor Website

Dr Katy Hamilton is a freelance researcher, writer and presenter on music. She is fast becoming one of the UK’s most sought-after speakers on music, providing talks for a host of organisations including the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, BBC Proms, Ryedale Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival. In addition, she regularly writes programme notes for the Salzburg Festival, North Norfolk Festival and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 3’s Record Review. Katy worked as Graham Johnson’s research assistant for his monumental Franz Schubert: The Songs and their Poets (Yale University Press, 2014) and is co-editor of Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Brahms in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2019). In addition to her research and presentation work, Katy has taught at the Royal College of Music, City Lit, the University of Nottingham and Middlesex University, working with students in performance workshops and music history classes. She has been teaching Music History courses at City Lit since 2015. She is also Public Events Programmer at the Foundling Museum in central London.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

This course has now started

Course Code: MD703B

Full Thu, day, 14 Jan - 25 Mar '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £209.00
Senior fee: £167.00
Concession: £127.00

Call us to check if you can still join the course 020 7492 2630 (depart num)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.