Introduction to musicals
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MD026
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
Singing, dancing, acting, comedy, tragedy and sentiment: musicals have all these elements wrapped up in the popular styles of their time. Starting in the 1920s and focusing on stage musicals, we will look at representative shows defined by their stylistic innovations and lasting appeal. We will discover how various famous writing partnerships worked, and how some shows transcend being ‘just’ glorious entertainment and provide a touch of humanity and morality in their narrative and outcome.
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- a brief overview of stage musicals from the 1920s
- different ways of gaining effect from music and lyrics
- musicals as escapist entertainment in their time
- changing intentions in the mid-C20th with more serious topics
- popular culture and its impact.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- identify several key musicals as examples of their age
- discuss the use of music, lyrics, staging and singing style and how they create an effect
- compare several key musicals from different periods
- reflect on the place of the stage musical in popular culture.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginners’ course. No prior knowledge of music is assumed or expected.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using a range of techniques including short lectures, slide shows and discussions, practical demonstrations on the piano and guided listening sessions. Courses use a variety of materials including YouTube clips. Links to these are given on Google Classroom so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
Short preparation tasks, such as listening to a piece or reading a review, will may be set.
Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled, further online resources will be available via Google Classroom.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- You may like to have a notebook and pen handy.
- 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 MD028 Introduction to film music which follows on in this same time slot
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.
Pauline Greene studied composition at Nottingham University and then composed, performed and was Musical Director with various theatre companies. She taught flute and composition, performing her music across the UK at various venues, including the Southbank Centre and the Edinburgh Festival, with her group The Concert Party, which she managed and directed. She has taught at the Universities of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, and ran the Music Access course at Morley College. She has taught at Birkbeck since 1984, moving from Music to Arts Management, and also lectures at Goldsmiths. She has given talks at the Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall and Glyndebourne. At City Lit Pauline teaches a wide range of music history courses, with specialisms in opera, music for dance, theatre and film, musical analysis, and music since 1900. She is still involved in the organisation of small-scale charity concerts and one-off musical events, and she sings and plays with several small groups.
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.