Exploring classical music: module 1

Course Dates: 21/09/21 - 30/11/21
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Online
Do you want to know more about classical music? Explore selected topics and key works in Medieval to (early) Baroque music on this highly informative 10 week course. Ideal for people with no specialist knowledge. This course has a break week on 26th October 2021.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £103.00

Course Code: MD030A

Please choose a course date 

Tue, eve, 21 Sep - 30 Nov '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Any questions? music@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2630

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.

What is the course about?

This classic music appreciation course will lead you on a fascinating journey through the history and development of classical music, guiding you through a selection of notable works and explaining key musical changes at each stage. This module is the one of three forming our beginners’ guide to Western Classical Music. In module 1 we explore how music works and how it has changed from the Medieval to the present. No previous musical knowledge is necessary.

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?

- A chronological survey of classical music from the Medieval to the early baroque
- Learn a little about the social and historical context for key musical works
- The elements of music (melody, harmony, rhythm etc) and how they work
- The development of styles (e.g. Renaissance and early baroque) and genres (motets, madrigals, the first operas etc)
- Focus on certain key composers and important works including Hildegard von Bingen, Troubadours, Dufay, Palestrina and Monteverdi.

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

- Understand key features of Medieval and Renaissance music
- Describe several key events leading to the birth of opera
- Show an understanding of the elements of music (melody, harmony, rhythm etc.) and how they work
- Have an understanding of the development of styles (e.g: Renaissance and early baroque) and genres (Motets, Suites etc)
- Show specific knowledge of certain key composers and their works.

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

This course is designed as an overview for absolute beginners. However, we will look at some music manuscripts and learn to identify key features of music notation (how many voices are singing, 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?

This is an online course:
- Sessions will be held via video-conference (zoom) 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 Exploring classical music: module 2

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 Breen Tutor Website

Edward teaches music history and music theory at City lit where he is Head of Programme: Advanced Studies in the School of Performing Arts. His specialism is early music (medieval, renaissance and baroque periods) and he completed his PhD in historical musicology at King's College London (2013) on the performance of medieval music. Outside of teaching, Edward is a regular contributor to Gramophone magazine and has lectured for Dartington International Summer School, London's Southbank Centre and The British Library. He has also worked as a researcher for BBC Proms and written for the journal Early Music (OUP). His recent essays are published in: The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music, (Cambridge University Press); The Montpellier Codex: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music 16 (Boydell Press); Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen (Ashgate 2018); and 30-Second Classical Music (Ivy Press).

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.