The symphony: a short history

Course Dates: 23/04/24 - 02/07/24
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Location: Keeley Street
Explore the history and development of the symphony from JC Bach to Beethoven and into the twentieth century. Break week: 28 May 2024.
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Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00

The symphony: a short history
  • Course Code: MD612B
  • Dates: 23/04/24 - 02/07/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 12:30
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Edward Henderson

Course Code: MD612B

Tue, day, 23 Apr - 02 Jul '24

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

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or call 020 4582 0412

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What is the course about?

Learn about the changing form of a symphony: how were early symphonies structured and how did this change through the classical period? Then explore the impact of Beethoven’s nine symphonies and chart the rise of programme music during the 19th century and into the 20th century on this fascinating survey course.

What will we cover?

- What is a symphony?
- How did the symphony change over time?
- How the symphony changed in the different aesthetic contexts of Classicism and Romanticism.
- Structure of a symphony: how many movements etc…
- The changing size of the symphonic orchestra
- Beethoven’s radical transformation of the symphony
- The problems composers with had writing symphonies after Beethoven
- Case studies of influential 19th century symphonies
- The symphony in the 20th century.

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

- Form an overview of the changing structure of the symphony
- feel confident with the layout of classical orchestra
- understand broad points about Beethoven and the Eroica symphony
- describe several Nineteenth century symphonies and programme symphonies.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for absolute beginners. However, we will look at some music scores and learn to identify key features (e.g. how many instruments are playing, etc…) so this course will be most suitable for those who are curious and ambitious to learn.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Sessions 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?

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.

Edward Henderson

Edward Henderson is a composer and performer from South London. He studied at Cambridge and Trinity Laban, where he won the Director's Prize for Composition. He co-directs composers’ collective Bastard Assignments, which presents shows in London and across Europe. His theatre pieces "Manspangled" and "Hum" have been performed at Second Movement's Rough for Opera night and the Tête à Tête opera festival, and his piano piece "Milk 2" has been performed in Europe and in Sydney. His "Tape Piece" opened the 2015 London Contemporary Music Festival, and his performance piece "Totally" featured at the 2016 Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. Edward teaches at City Lit, Morley College and Trinity Laban, and runs inclusive community choirs for Certitude.

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.