Course Description

This is a course devoted to listening actively and thoughtfully to live music, and occasionally, to making a bit of music ourselves in workshops. By discussing and writing about musical experiences of new kinds and in new settings, we hope to help broaden and deepen your love for music. At the same time, we’ll explore fascinating, historical, and gorgeous places in the UK. The course is intended for students from all majors, benefiting from the varied academic and experiential backgrounds of all students. The course begins in London, where we spend approximately the first 10 days taking advantage of the range of musical performances available and the rich musical and cultural history of the city. Performances include opera, ballet, symphony orchestra, chamber music, and solo recitals. We also visit a jazz club, and participate in workshops on the Javanese Gamelan, and at the English Folk Song Society. Mornings are devoted to class discussions, with afternoons free for exploration of the city, followed by late afternoon tea and shared observations before the evening performance. Next we travel north via the old city of York where we'll attend choral evensong at the cathedral, and by contrast, a traditional English pantomime. From here, we begin to encounter less formal forms of music making, particularly in folk traditions of the British Isles. After attending and participating in events at the Celtic Connections Folk Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, we will travel to the hauntingly beautiful Isle of Skye for a workshop on Gaelic folk music at Sabhal Mòr Ostag.