Music History & Appreciation Courses & Classes in London

Build offers an extensive programme of music history courses with a focus on Western classical music, Folk, Jazz, Rock and Pop. There are new topics each year and some are designed to coincide with anniversaries, festivals and events. This year we celebrate 250 years since the birth of Beethoven.
To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post Music history: your guide to the 2019/20 programme which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.
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  1. Opera studies 1: the operatic tenor

    Course Date: Mon 16 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The lyrical tenor voice was used in the earliest operas to charm fair maidens and savage beasts alike. We trace the development of the operatic tenor from simple shepherd to dramatic ‘King of the High Cs’. This course has a scheduled break week: 21 October 2019.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  2. Introduction to the orchestra

    Course Date: Mon 16 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    What’s an orchestra? And why does it need a conductor? We’ll examine orchestral instruments and many works to answer these questions, discovering a blend of exciting sounds which communicates the composer’s intentions to the audience.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  3. The essential history of jazz in 20 cuts

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 17 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: International House
    Through a selection of 20 iconic albums, we will study the key figures, the innovators and the star soloists of 20th century jazz, as well as some important artists you might be less familiar with. This course has a scheduled break week: 22nd October.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £199.00
    Concession: £121.00

  4. A history of piano music

    Course Date: Tue 17 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Trace the development of keyboard instruments and their repertoire from Bach’s Goldberg Variations to the late works of Brahms. Explore the composers and makers who shaped the keyboard into one of the most versatile and popular instruments of all time, and learn about history, style, genre and function through guided listening and score reading. Tutor: Dr Maria Razumovskaya [external website]

    Break week: 22nd October 2019.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  5. Mozart: the early operas

    Course Date: Wed 18 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore Mozart’s operas from Bastien und Bastienne (1768) to Idomeneo, re di Creta (1780-1). Discover the stories and the music of these youthful works and learn about Mozart’s early biography. Tutor: Dr Edward Breen [external website]

    Scheduled break week 23 Oct.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  6. Minimalism in music

    Course Date: Wed 18 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore the aesthetics and repertoire of minimal and minimalist music. We will look at famous examples from Philip Glass and Steve Reich while exploring earlier influences and contemporary examples. This course has a scheduled break week: 23rd October 2019.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  7. Clara Schumann and her circle

    Course Date: Thu 19 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    In 2019 we celebrate the 200th birthday of virtuoso pianist and composer Clara Schumann, née Wieck. This course explores not only her own musical career, but her relationships with other musicians and cultural figures (professional and non-professional) of the time. This course has a scheduled break week: 24th October 2019.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  8. Romeo and Juliet: a musical history

    Course Date: Fri 20 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The familiar Shakespeare story has inspired many musical adaptations. We will delve into works for orchestra, ballet, dance, opera, theatre, musicals and film to find varied interpretations of the ultimate lovers’ tragedy. This course has a scheduled break week: 25th October 2019.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £121.00

  9. Beethoven piano sonatas 1

    Course Date: Fri 20 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A history and score-study/analysis class for pianists/musicians of a grade 5+ standard in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. This course has a scheduled break week: 25th October 2019.
    Full fee: £179.00
    Senior fee: £143.00
    Concession: £109.00

  10. The Beatles: a history through their music

    Course Date: Fri 20 Sep 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The Beatles are the most culturally significant and popular pop band in history. Through analysis of their music and a history of the 1960s we will see how four lads from Liverpool came to define the sound of a decade.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  11. Exploring classical music: module 1

    Exploring classical music: module 1

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 25 Sep 2019 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: International House
    Enrich your understanding of music history. This module explores selected topics in Medieval to (early) Baroque music, and leads on to next term's course (MD030B) which covers (later) Baroque to classical. Ideal for people with no specialist knowledge. Please note this evening course runs without a mid-term break.
    Full fee: £169.00
    Senior fee: £169.00
    Concession: £103.00

  12. Introduction to contemporary music

    Course Date: Mon 28 Oct 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Discover key works of contemporary classical music, considering both how they function as an artwork and also the political and social context in which they were written, by exploring the exciting variety of new sounds and forms being created. Tutor: Pauline Greene [external website].
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  13. Bob Dylan: an introduction to his music

    Course Date: Fri 1 Nov 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore the impact that Bob Dylan has had on popular music with a special focus on the 1960s. Through analysis of his songs and a history of the 1960s we will see how his influence extends beyond the American folk music revival.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £60.00

  14. Liberace

    Course Date: Mon 2 Dec 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    The name and the sparkle are familiar, but who was the man behind the image, and the personal and pianistic display? We investigate man and artist in the centenary year of his birth.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £24.00

  15. Christmas carols: a brief history

    Course Date: Wed 4 Dec 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Discover the rich heritage of Christmas carols. Learn about traditional forms of the carol and the history behind selected examples from the medieval to twentieth century.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £18.00

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