The Piano Sonata: Beethoven and the Romantics (Coursera)

The Piano Sonata: Beethoven and the Romantics (Coursera)
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The Piano Sonata: Beethoven and the Romantics (Coursera)
In this course, learners will review sonata form and learn how the piano sonata was taken to new heights by Ludwig van Beethoven. We’ll discover together how the generation that followed interpreted Beethoven’s achievements and put them into practice in their own unique ways. From there, we will explore the “War of the Romantics”: the variety of formal structures for Romantic sonatas (both traditional and progressive) and the major repertoire of this era.

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You’ll hear some of the important pianos of the time, and understand the differences between Viennese and English/French traditions of piano music.

This course was filmed at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, among other locations, to showcase the depth of the sonata repertoire and the instruments that contributed to its history.


Course 2 of 3 in the Exploring Piano Literature: The Piano Sonata Specialization


Syllabus


WEEK 1

Setting the Stage

In the first week, you'll be introduced to the course structure and to the fundamentals surrounding sonata form and the history of the genre.


WEEK 2

Ludwig van Beethoven

This week focuses solely on Ludwig van Beethoven. We will discuss matters of sonata theory, the developing piano, and the way that the piano sonata genre was transformed through his innovations. We will consider his sonata repertoire across three major periods.


WEEK 3

Romantics

This week focuses on Romantic composers following Beethoven. First we consider the German tradition - Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms - and then the great pianist-virtuosi Chopin and Liszt. Throughout the week we will consider both traditional and innovative approaches to constructing Romantic piano sonatas.


WEEK 4

Course Conclusion and Honors Track Formal Analysis

For more advanced learners, an Honors Formal Analysis is available in this final week (not required for completion of the course).



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