Score reading: interpreting styles and composers
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MG446
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 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. Learn the key features of Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century musical periods and develop confidence in differentiating between styles and composers. This forms an important strand of the Grade 6+ theory exams.
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
- Understanding tonality and its context within different style periods
- 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. 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:
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?
All scores will be sourced from IMSLP.org and links will be posted on google classroom for you to download your own copies. You will need to access these on your own laptop/tablet between classes. There will also be class handouts/notes provided in google classroom.
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 and /or Studies in counterpoint: 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.
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 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.