Music theory: introduction to score reading & analysis
Time: 19:40 - 21:10
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MG446C
Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
What is the course about?
Through study of scores and listening to recordings develop your understanding of the stylistic hallmarks of musical styles and periods in Western classical music. Learn the key features of Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century musical periods and develop confidence in differentiating between styles and key composers (which forms an important strand of the Grade 6+ theory exams).
This term’s music focuses on baroque and classical music:
- chord and cadences in a Bach chorale
- contrasting arias from Giulio Cesare (Handel)
- 'Del minacciar del vento' from Ottone, a Handel rage aria
- French and Italian styles within the trio sonata. Corelli's Op. 3 and Jean-Ferry Rebel's Premiere Sonata from his set of 12 trio sonatas (R. 506).
- Mozart Piano Sonata k.331
- Mozart's 40th symphony.
- Haydn's 60th Symphony 'Il Distratto'
- J.C Bach's Op 6 No 6.
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?
- Rhythmic and melodic characteristics from the different style periods
- Understanding musical textures and how they evolved over music history (e.g. recitative, fugue)
- Understanding tonality and its context within style periods: especially in terms of structure (eg. Sonata form)
- Background social and cultural context for changes and developments in musical styles
- Developments in instrumentation and the effect on other elements of music, e.g. dynamics, expression.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the style period of a piece of music from key features in the score
- Identify the style period of a piece of music through aural analysis
- Have more confidence differentiating the different elements of music (rhythm, phrasing, tonality, dynamics, etc.)
- Have a broader understanding of instruments in historical contexts
- Have greater confidence with style identification questions in ABRSM theory and aural exams.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Suitable for anyone with knowledge of music theory at Grade 5 standard or higher. You will need to be able to read music fluently (treble and bass clef) and have some confidence with the structure of major and minor scales and chords (e.g. do you know what is meant by chord I and chord V in G major?).
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course you will need your own 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 ZOOM for live classes via webcam.
Your tutor will use a variety of techniques:
- tutor explanation and demonstration via webcam / shared screen
- short revision videos and/or audio files (posted in Google Classroom)
- worksheets (posted in Google Classroom)
- group performing and individual demonstration tasks (e.g. clapping rhythms).
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Many scores will be sourced from IMSLP.org and links will be posted on google classroom. So you may work with your own laptop/tablet if you prefer or print handouts yourself to use during class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course is an excellent introduction to score reading for anyone studying music theory at higher levels (Grade 5 and above. You may wish to progress to higher-level Music Theory classes, Studies in counterpoint, Composition Techniques etc. You may also be interested in City Lit's Music history courses, or one of our wide variety of practical courses in singing or playing an instrument.
For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.
Edmund is a violinist/director and music theory tutor specialising in Historical Performance. With a tremendous passion for the study of pedagogy, Edmund has taught both strings and music theory in London for over a decade. After training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with Walter Reiter (The English Concert), Edmund founded the period instrument group Bellot Ensemble in 2014, performing across the UK and Europe, with many exciting concerts such as the modern premier of a reconstructed Telemann Cantata. Edmund performs regularly across the UK and Europe as a violinist and leader for other historical instrument ensembles such as Armonico Consort, The Handel Orchestra and Ensemble OrQuesta, with a particular passion for operatic works from the Baroque period! Edmund is also the founder of the charitable organisation "healing notes," an organisation set up to provide virtual concerts for the hard working NHS staff during these difficult times.
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.