Distance Learning

Music Appreciation: The Development Of The Symphony

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Course synopsis

The symphony evolved out of orchestral introductions or interludes in vocal works in the seventeenth century through suites of dance music.  Joseph Haydn is to composer usually credited with establishing the form of the classical symphony in the second half of the eighteenth century but this grew out of the work of several other composers in the earlier years of the century.  The beginning of the nineteenth century brought Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies which led on to the development of the romantic symphony through that century culminating in Gustav Mahler's symphonies.  Alongside this development the idea of the symphonic poem often inspired by literature developed leading to the works of Richard Strauss.  The twentieth century and beyond brought an enormous variety of works called `symphony' but many of which are still in the nineteenth century romantic tradition.

In this course we will explore this evolution of the symphony, starting with its precursors in the seventeenth century, spending much of the time listening to works from the eighteenth and nineteenth century, but also exploring twentieth century developments.

Book your place

Autumn 2021/22
Wednesdays, 14:00 - 16:00
Distance learning

About the teacher

Peter Eccles

I have spent the whole of my working life at The University of Manchester in the School of Mathematics studying and teaching mathematics.  On retiring in September 2015 I...

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