Centre for Continuing Education

Music Appreciation Course: Another Eight Great Composers

Music. Learn, enjoy, appreciate.

Appreciate and learn about music the smart way with Music courses at the University of Sydney.

This music course aims to enhance your understanding and appreciation of classical music, by introducing you to the lives and music of some more of the greatest composers of all time: who they were, what they were trying to achieve, and what makes their music so wonderful. What makes a composer ‘great’? Why does the work of some composers still resonate, delighting contemporary audiences? In this series we look at Handel, Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Puccini, Vaughan Williams and George Gershwin – eight more of the greatest composers of classical music. Each week we’ll examine the historical and social background and musical style of one composer in detail, and consider some of their greatest works.

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this music appreciation course, it is expected that participants will be able to:

  1. List some great composers of classical music.
  2. List some examples of compositions of great composers, and describe their place in the composer’s output.
  3. Describe some of the features of the development of classical music.

Course Content

Each session will explore the life and music of a composer. We will listen to their great works, discuss their musical style and approach, and learn about their life story. This music course covers the following topics:

Handel

  • The Baroque Period: historical and social background.
  • Handel’s life: Germany, Italy, England.
  • Handel’s Musical Style.
  • Messiah, Fireworks Music, Water Music, Zadok the Priest.

Haydn

  • The Classical Period: historical and social background.
  • Haydn’s life: Rohrau, Vienna, the Esterházy family, London.
  • Haydn’s Musical Style.
  • The Emperor Quartet, The Surprise Symphony, The Creation.

Schubert

  • The Late Classical Period: historical and social background.
  • Schubert’s life: Chorister, teacher, performer, composer.
  • Schubert’s Musical Style.
  • The Trout, Erlkonig, The Unfinished Symphony.

Chopin

  • The Romantic Period: historical and social background.
  • Chopin’s life: Poland, Paris.
  • Chopin’s Musical Style.
  • The Nocturnes, the Revolutionary Etude, the Minute Waltz.

Brahms

  • The Romantic Period: historical and social background.
  • Brahms’s life: Hamburg, Vienna.
  • Brahms’s Musical Style.
  • The German Requiem, The Haydn Variations, the Academic Festival Overture.

Puccini

  • The Romantic Period : historical and social background, opera in Italy.
  • Puccini’s life: Lucca, Milan, Torre del Lago, America.
  • Puccini’s Musical Style.
  • Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Turandot.

Vaughan Williams

  • The Late Romantic Period: historical and social background.
  • Vaughan Williams’s life: Cambridge, Berlin, Paris, London.
  • Vaughan Williams’s Musical Style.
  • Fantasia on Greensleeves, The Lark Ascending, Linden Lea.

George Gershwin

  • The Twentieth Century: historical and social background.
  • Gershwin’s life: Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, Hollywood.
  • Gershwin’s Musical Style.
  • Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess.

Intended Audience

This music appreciation course is designed for fans of classical music, beginners and experienced listeners alike. No prior musical knowledge is required. Although not a prerequisite, this music course is also suitable for those who have completed Music Appreciation Course: Eight Great Composers.

Course Delivery

This music appreciation course will be richly illustrated with musical examples, illustrations and video clips. The tutor will use the piano to demonstrate musical concepts to the everyday listener. Questions from participants will be encouraged, and there will be room for discussion throughout the course.

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion
$247 Limited inc GST
Music Appreciation Course: Another Eight Great Composers

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