Sep 25th 2014

From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance (Coursera)

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Explore eight important works from different eras and genres of Western classical-music repertoire, through performances recorded at Curtis and discussion of each work’s historical context, composer, musical significance, and compositional design.

A survey of music history begins with those works that convey the artistic trends, innovations, and compositional techniques representative of their time. This course will look at key works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schoenberg, and Crumb, brought to life by audio or video recordings by Curtis students, alumni, and faculty. Accompanying lectures explore the historical context, composer, musical significance, and compositional design of each work. Guest interviews offer special insight into performance, improvisation, and contemporary composition. In-person and online sessions with the faculty members are being planned.

Life-enrichment learners and amateur musicians will be encouraged to engage in global online discussions about the music, as they sharpen their listening and descriptive skills. Multiple-choice quizzes will reinforce lecture material. Optional peer-graded assignments guide learners through the process of listening, researching, and writing to create their own program notes.

By the end of the course, students should be able:

- to understand a general survey of the development of Western classical music through the ages

- to further develop the skills to explore the background of composers and their compositions

- to better enjoy concerts and performances with enhanced listening skills

Suggested Readings: