Keyboard harmony and technique: advanced
Time: 10:00 - 12:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
Course Code: ME800B
Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
This module is centred on the harmonic practices of the first half of the Romantic period, in particular those found in the keyboard works of late L. van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann, pointing out the links between their individual inventiveness and the developments in harmony and pianism. We shall broaden our understanding of Romantic piano repertoire by studying the harmonic constructs that underpin them and letting them inform our interpretations, while also tackling some of the pianistic technical challenges that arise in Romantic keyboard works.
This workshop will help you deepen your understand of how harmony works. Chord progressions are studied in their proper context of historical development. In this module we focus on the keyboard works of late L. van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. We also develop finger-technique with relevant repertoire and technical exercises. This practical workshop requires a confident grade 6+ starting point for pianists. You will be required to sight-read short passages in simple keys, and you will be asked to learn new pieces and exercises both during class time and for homework.
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?
- Study of selected keyboard works by late L. van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann
- Work on exercises derived from this repertoire to improve piano technique
- Harmonic analysis of late L. van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann keyboard works using Extended Roman Numeral notation
- Study of chord progressions as used by late L. van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- give a technically-at-ease and harmonically-informed performance of a keyboard work by late L. van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann
- Perform harmonic analysis of substantial excerpts of the selected piano repertoire
- Broaden your understanding of how Romantic composers such as L. van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann use harmony in their compositions
- Read and write chord progressions
- Present several correctly realised examples from the exercises used in class.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for pianists at a confident grade 6 standard who are keen to learn the theory behind their practice and who wish to explore harmony in both a practical and theoretical workshop.
If you are joining the course for this module please make sure you are at an appropriate starting level of ability (min. grade 6 piano). You may attend a music advice session if you are not sure of your level.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course you will need your own piano (or keyboard) with 88 full-sized keys, a copy of the course text-book (see below) and a computer or tablet with a webcam, microphone and reliable internet connection to take this class.
We use GOOGLE CLASSROOM to share messages, documents, audio and video files and for you to submit any homework tasks. We use video software to meet for classes via webcam (ZOOM).
The course will comprise combinations of lecture-demonstration, question-and-answer, guided listening, and music-manuscript study. You will undertake short, relevant tasks between classes and you will be expected to demonstrate your work in class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need a pen/pencil, blank manuscript paper and a folder to keep your notes and handouts organised.
You must source your own copies of this textbook (used for all three modules of this course):
A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony [external website]
Repertoire studied this term is Mid- to late Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann piano works.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You can continue studying Keyboard Harmony and Technique: advanced or you may be interested in Keyboard Harmony and Improvisation (which focuses on more modern styles as well as jazz). You may wish to explore our Pop piano programme if you read keys and chord symbols to a comfortable level or study Music theory: counterpoint for a systematic approach to voice-leading, fugal forms and higher-level theory. You may also be interested in our Piano workshops or Piano repertoire classes to study classical repertoire. Please note: we have multiple courses at different times throughout the week. Some courses are online, and some take place in our college building.
If you are new to City Lit piano classes, please take a moment to read our blog: Choosing a piano class at City lit which lists our full sequence of piano classes.
Ricardo Gosalbo is a Spanish-French pianist. He has held fellowships at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he currently works as Spanish music tutor and staff accompanist. A devoted champion of Spanish and Hispano-American music, Ricardo combines his duties as artistic director of the Hispanic Music Series with his doctoral research on 19th-century Spanish Art Song. Ricardo has performed at many prestigious venues across Europe and has also been featured on BBC Radio 3 'InTune’. A multifaceted music collaborator, Ricardo is a founding member of the Deco Ensemble, praised as ‘one of the UK’s foremost tango ensembles.’ He has also worked extensively with contemporary dancers and choreographers. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the ‘Prix de Lied’ at the Concours International de chant-piano Nadia et Lili Boulanger, the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform and the Paul Hamburger Prize. Ricardo teaches piano and piano/keyboards classes, and accompanies classes in classical and music theatre singing.
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.