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From the Florentine Camerata to Stalinist Russia: The Story of Music in Five Genres

Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.

Available Dates:

This course is currently not being offered in the academic year 2015 - 2016.

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This course provides an introductory overview of classical music from the Baroque to the twentieth century, through the examination of works in five key genres: concerto, opera, symphony, lied and chamber music. Works studied in the course include Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben, Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Each work is set in its historical and cultural context and the main stylistic characteristics – form, texture, melody – will be explored through listening.

Weekly schedule:

Week 1: Genre 1: concerto

Week 2: Case Study: Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

Week 3: Genre 2: opera

Week 4: Case Study: Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro

Week 5: Genre 3: lied and song cycle

Week 6: Case Study: Schumann, Frauenliebe und -leben

Week 7: Genre 4: chamber music

Week 8: Case Study: Saint-Saëns, The Carnival of the Animals

Week 9: Genre 5: symphony

Week 10: Case Study: Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5

Who is this course for?

Anyone who is interested in music and who would like to know more about some of the main musical genres and styles – including case studies of selected composers and their works – over the last 400 years. No previous knowledge of this topic is assumed, neither is the ability to read musical notation (all works and extracts will be explored through listening and discussion).

Learning and Teaching

The course will be taught over 10 two-hour sessions, delivered on a weekly basis. This will involve:

•Tutor-led sessions: this forms the bulk of the teaching provision for the module. In these sessions, basic information will be delivered to the students utilising mediums such as PowerPoint, audio examples, aural analysis, YouTube examples and handouts where necessary.
•Student-led activities and class discussion.
•Online provision: PowerPoint slides and handouts from the weekly sessions will be made available via Learning Central.

Coursework and Assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

It goes without saying that students’ understanding of the music studied in a course is usually considerably enhanced if they read and write about it. You will not have a formal examination but you will be asked to produce some written work. This can take the form of a course journal, portfolio, presentation, questionnaire or essay. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

Essential texts

Recommended texts / useful reference sources


What else is on offer?

If this course interests you then you should be aware that Continuing & Professional Education offers a number of varied and exciting music courses. Please see our Choices Catalogue for further details, or visit our website, and click on ‘Music’.

Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by ringing us on

(029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact us on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices.  This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.