The Anatomy of a Symphony

The symphony is the epitome of large-scale instrumental music, just as the Mass is of choral music, and opera and oratorio are of mixed. But what exactly is a symphony? What are its roots, its internal structure, its leading composers, its offshoots, and how has it changed over some 300 years? This course will explore these questions, as well as offer the “anatomy” of a typical symphony. Listening will include examples from selected composers such as C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Bruckner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Stravinsky, Prokoviev, Shostakovich, and others. Prior musical knowledge, while helpful, is not necessary. MSC

(Note: This class meets on Sept. 12, 26, Oct. 10 & 24)

Morton Achter holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Michigan, has taught at various colleges and universities for 40 years, and has presented courses on opera for MSC since 2010.

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