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, learners 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
The first week offers an historical overview as a starting
point. The remaining six weeks examine specific repertoire, with recordings of
performances by Curtis students and alumni provided online. Lecture videos
explore the era, the composer, and the piece, from both music history and compositional design perspectives.
Week 1: A Brief History of Notation
Week 2: J. S. BACH, Chaconne
Week 3: HAYDN, String Quartet in C major, Hob. III:32, and
MOZART, String Quartet in B-flat major, K. 589
Week 4: BEETHOVEN, Grosse Fuge in B-flat major, Op. 133
Week 5: BRAHMS, Two Songs, Op. 91, and Trio in E-flat major,
Week 6: SCHOENBERG, Pierrot lunaire
Week 7: GEORGE CRUMB, Voice
of the Whale
Jonathan Coopersmith and David Ludwig