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Music Appreciation

Music Appreciation
Music Appreciation
  • Available:  April 11, 2024 - May 9, 2024
  • Instructor:  Oscar Peterson Guest Instructors
  • Discipline:  Music Appreciation
  • Course Type:  General Interest, Group Classes, Music Appreciation
  • Student Type:  Any Age

Course Description

Learn More About the Music You Love!

All classes are presented in person only at The Royal Conservatory's downtown location (273 Bloor St W).

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Learn More About the Music You Love!

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of great composers, artists, and musical works! The Oscar Peterson School of Music in Toronto offers an unsurpassed breadth of Music Appreciation classes taught by experts in a welcoming and intimate environment. These sessions are designed to expand your understanding and enjoyment of music across genres and historical periods, from the rich traditions of the past to exciting new creations of the present.

With new sessions offered every season, there is sure to be something that sparks your curiosity and fits your schedule. Select sessions include live performances by the rising stars of The Glenn Gould School and special concert ticket offers to enhance your experience.

Keys: Their Meaning and Magic

Instructor: Clayton Scott

Have you ever wondered why composers choose the keys they do? Why they continually return to certain keys and never turn to others? What it means when Beethoven writes in E flat major, C minor or C major? Why Mozart rarely writes in G minor or D minor – and what it means when he does? Why A major is often chosen for the sunniest of works like Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony or Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien and why B minor is chosen by Tchaikovsky for his Swan Lake and Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”?

This course will answer these questions, and more, by immersing you in the sound and meaning of individual keys. You will learn to “tune” your ears to the sparkle of G major, the tenderness of D flat major, and the sorrow of F minor. You will learn why composers virtually always choose to write in D flat major and neglect C sharp major, even though those two keys share the exact same tonic or home chord. You will discover why the Romantics, like Chopin, Liszt and Puccini adored writing in keys with multiple flats.

We will take a broad approach, exploring works from all eras of music based on the major/minor system called tonality. Each week will be an exploration and celebration of a particular key or keys, and of the composers who loved to use them.

This lively presentation/performance series will guide you through the keys special to specific composers. Among works selected for study may be those of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns, Puccini and Ravel. 

Key passages will be demonstrated at the piano and discussed. Classes will include active listening with “guided tour” commentary, interactive components related to understanding the musical characteristics of different keys, and opportunities for score study (no experience necessary!). Some classes will feature live performances by students of The Glenn Gould School.

Winter/Spring 2024

Keys: Their Meaning & Magic

April 11-May 9, 2024 (5 Sessions)
10:00 am-12:00 pm
Instructor: Clayton Scott