Period Instrument Performance: Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven 3

Ref: C3527771

After World War 2, following the advent of the New Music Courses in Darmstadt, constructivism came to rule Classical Music and audiences dwindled. An answer to this came with the beginnings of Authentic Instrument Performance, as musicians and audiences increasingly looked back to the past for inspiration. This collision is the subject of this course.

Additional information about this course

To enrol, please contact Pat Halliwell at or ring 01275 875349. There is no fee waiver for this course.

Course aim

Looking at the rise of period instrument performance since 1948 as an answer to constructivist modernism in classical music.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

Stravinsky in 1948. His "neo - classical" works. The idea of Schoenberg and his "neo-classical" works. The influence of the past on the present. Original instruments make their way into "modern" music. Harpsichord Concertos are written by Poulenc and De Falla. An appreciation of Gregorian & Russian Orthodox Chant leads to composers such as Part and Tavener. The past meets the present. Works by Rautavaara - the "Angels" series of works. Synthesis and the way forward in the 21st century.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. Begin to understand the idea of "neo-classicism" as it relates to classical music. 2. Begin to see how ideas of past and present have gradually merged in classical music, despite the initial hostility between "past" and "present". 3. Have a beginning understanding of the status of classical music now, in 2016, with all camps happy, performing and creating in their own ways, but with their ideas merging creatively when necessary. 4. Begin to see how the rise of period instrument performance since 1948 has been one of the creative drives that has fuelled the development of new music written since that time as "music of the past" and "music of the future" have merged to create a new and re-invigorated "music of the present".

How will I know I'm making progress?

Class discussion and question and answer as we progress.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

A notebook and pen and an open mind.

Reading and information sources


What could the course lead to?

Further research into the classical music of the 20th century and the philosophy behind it.

Download full course outline

Period Instrument Performance: Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven 3 Course Outline

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  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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