The long 19th century I: Romantics, poets and virtuosos
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: MD036A
Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course covers the emergence of Romanticism in poetry, art and music, and traces the life and works of composers up to c.1830. We will explore the compositions of Beethoven and Schubert in Vienna, Meyerbeer and Auber in Paris, and the emergence of the virtuoso performer, first personified by Paganini. We will also consider the changing status of the musician during this period, and some of the cultural myths (particularly around Beethoven) which have emerged as a result. This is the first of a three-part course which runs throughout the academic year, covering the whole of the long nineteenth century.
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?
- Early definitions of Romanticism
- The innovations of Beethoven and Schubert in expanding classical forms
- French grand opera and gothic horror
- The rising status of the musician in society, including the emergence of the virtuoso.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Define Romanticism and its various characteristics in literature and music
- Identify key musical innovations made by Beethoven and Schubert to chamber, orchestral and vocal genres
- Identify the characteristics of French grand opera plots, and the role of gothic horror in French and German opera
- Explain how the shift in the public role of the musician changed during this period, and the impact this had on the public presentation of music.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course in intended to be accessible for anyone with an interest in western classical music. We will look at various scores and historical documents during this course but you do not need to read music notation to participate in these activities. All texts will be in English, or accompanied by an English translation. Musical scores are all available free online via IMSLP.
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?
You will need a good internet connection and a computer with microphone & webcam. If using a tablet it will need a screen large enough for you to comfortably view the class handouts.
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: MD036B The long 19th century II: Salons and symphonies
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.
Dr Katy Hamilton is a freelance researcher, writer and presenter on music. She is fast becoming one of the UK’s most sought-after speakers on music, providing talks for a host of organisations including the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, BBC Proms, Ryedale Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival. In addition, she regularly writes programme notes for the Salzburg Festival, North Norfolk Festival and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 3’s Record Review. Katy worked as Graham Johnson’s research assistant for his monumental Franz Schubert: The Songs and their Poets (Yale University Press, 2014) and is co-editor of Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Brahms in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2019). In addition to her research and presentation work, Katy has taught at the Royal College of Music, City Lit, the University of Nottingham and Middlesex University, working with students in performance workshops and music history classes. She has been teaching Music History courses at City Lit since 2015. She is also Public Events Programmer at the Foundling Museum in central London.
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.