Centre for Continuing Education

Exploring Music Course: Chamber Music

Music. Learn, enjoy, appreciate.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Chamber music is one of the most intimate forms of classical music. It combines the wealth and richness of classical music structures with the intimacy of being able to see each performer, and hear what each one is playing.

This music appreciation course explores the structures and development of chamber music and the great composers who contributed to it, including Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. We will listen to some of the great pieces of chamber music, and explore what makes them work, and what makes them wonderful.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • list some great composers of chamber music
  • list some specific examples of chamber music
  • describe some of the features of chamber music.


Topics to be explored

  • What is chamber music?
  • What instruments play chamber music?
  • The structures of chamber music
  • The rise of chamber music
  • Haydn: Father of the String Quartet
  • Chamber music of the Classical period
  • Beethoven’s chamber music
  • The chamber music of Schubert
  • Chamber music in the Romantic period
  • Chamber music in the Twentieth Century
  • Sonata Form
  • Theme and Variations
  • Rondo Form.

Music we will listen to

We will listen to many pieces of chamber music, some famous as well as some lesser-known. These include:

  • Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
  • Beethoven: Piano Trio op. 70, "Ghost"
  • Beethoven: The late string quartets
  • Brahms: Clarinet Quintet, Piano Quartet Op. 60
  • Chopin: Cello Sonata in G Minor, op. 65
  • Haydn: String Quartet op. 33 no. 2, "The Joke"
  • Haydn: String Quartet op.76 No.3 "Emperor"
  • Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20
  • Mozart and Beethoven: Violin Sonatas
  • Mozart: Clarinet Quintet
  • Mozart: String Quintet in E flat major K. 614
  • Ravel: String Quartet in F
  • Schubert: “The Trout” Piano Quintet
  • Schumann: Piano Quintet

Intended audience

Designed for fans of classical music, beginners and experienced listeners alike.


No prior musical knowledge is required.

Delivery style



Handouts will be provided in class.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • The tutor presented a stimulating and informative course. Most enjoyable.

What others say.

  • The tutor presented a stimulating and informative course. Most enjoyable.
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