Introduction to the orchestra
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: MD029
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course is for music-lovers who want to learn more about the instruments and the make-up of orchestras they hear or see playing classical music in different situations. Orchestras can be small or large, playing music on their own, accompanying a soloist, or playing for opera or ballet. The number of instruments can vary, as well as which instruments are present, often depending on historical practice. The rôle of the conductor has also evolved, and we consider their function and ask whether the orchestra could actually manage without them.
What will we cover?
The names, sounds and ranges of standard orchestral instruments
The make-up of a typical orchestra over various historical periods
The changing rôle of the conductor
How a composer uses the orchestra.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Name and identify by sound the main orchestral instrumental groups (woodwind, brass, percussion and strings)
- Understand the process a composer uses to decide on the choice of instruments for a piece
- Understand the rôle of the conductor.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginners’ course. No prior knowledge of music is assumed but you should have an interest in music and be keen to find out more. You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
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 handouts via Google Classroom so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
Occasional short preparation tasks, such as listening to a piece or reading a review, may be set from time to time. 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 wish to buy some of the music, books or DVDs recommended in class.
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.
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.