Exploring The Musical Baroque And Classical Periods

Baroque and Classical music

28 April – 5 May 2021

Please note this is an all day course

Wednesdays morning 10.45 - 12.45
Wednesdays afternoon 14.00 - 16.00
The University Women’s Club, 2 Audley Square, London W1K 1DB
Peter Medhurst
Full course (2 days) £210.00
Single (1 day) £130.00
Morning coffee and afternoon teas are inclusive. Lunch at your own expense is available at the Club but requires advance booking. Please contact Club Receptionist once your lecture booking is confirmed. There are cafes nearby if you prefer.

Book your place now on Exploring The Musical Baroque And Classical Periods

“Excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed it and very informative. Subject was brought alive by lecturer”

By discussing a range of important works, as well as relating music of these eras to the other disciplines in the arts, Peter Medhurst examines two of the greatest moments in the history of music.

Calliope Teaching Orpheus, 1865 Alexandre-Auguste Hirsch
Zlata Koruna Musical Instruments Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Course outline

The Baroque Period In Music 1600 ‐ 1750

The Baroque era was a comparatively lengthy one in the history of music and ‐ as with other disciplines in the arts at the time ‐ was hallmarked by the desire to evoke strong emotional states, by appealing to the senses, and often in very dramatic ways.  This was especially so in the field of opera and religious music where words directly inspired the rhythmic and melodic shapes of the music as well as the overall flow of the music’s harmonic structure. By relating music to the world of architecture, sculpture and paintings, and by looking at a range of key compositions of the period, we will examine the various strands that make up the musical Baroque.

The Classical Period In Music 1750 ‐ 1830

The Classical period, by contrast to the Baroque, was very nearly the worst moment in the history of Western music, since the re‐action against the music of the previous era introduced a shallowness and a transparency of style that potentially removed gravity and depth of expression from the music. Fortunately, the genius of composers such as JC Bach, Haydn and Mozart overcame the limitations of the era and produced works of astonishing force and originality.  However, the close of the Classical period was marked by the first stirrings of Romanticism and it is noticeable how Schubert and Beethoven adapted the abstract mediums of the early Classical period in order to introduce subjective elements into their music.  We will discuss the concept of Classicism in music against a backdrop of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the demise of patronage.