This course has concessions available

Music In Depth: Context And Analysis

A tutor-guided study group of set works from the Western classical music canon with topics/works to be chosen in consultation with the class.

If you would like enrol at the concession rate, please request and complete your enrolment by contacting: or calling 020 7269 6000 Mon- Thu

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

This course is for all those who have an interest in Western classical music and who wish to deepen their understanding by studying set works and learning more about the periods in which they were written. It is for anyone who wishes to develop their ability to speak about music. It is suitable for those considering studying at Advanced or degree level, and those who would like to develop a contextual understanding of musical masterpieces. Some of the course will involve more technical explanations of musical concepts, and so it is an advantage to be able to follow music in its written form since handouts of musical examples will be given.

What does this course cover

We will take masterpieces from different periods of music (the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, early and late Romantic and Twentieth century - though not necessarily in chronological order), and by studying them in detail we will learn not only about the music but also about related subjects relevant to an understanding of the music itself. The works and composers chosen will be different to those studied on the Music History and Appreciation course, to give those who have already completed that course to develop their knowledge and expertise further. Works will be chosen by the tutor in consultation with the class, and will cover different genres, periods and styles. Each term we will cover two or three composers/works.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:
-To listen to music in a directed way, using personal response, reflection and analysis
-To talk about music employing some technical words appropriate to the music studied
-To increase your familiarity with certain specific works of music
-To increase your awareness of cultural and historical factors which have shaped the music studied
-To make a short presentation on an area of relevance to the subject under study (optional)

What will it be like

A significant part of the course will be listening to musical extracts and discussing them in class. The learning arena will be led as a seminar with all students welcome to contribute to the discussions. As mentioned above, there will be musical scores, extracts from source readings, other handouts, DVDs, recorded interviews etc. Students will be expected to do some private research and to make short presentations around the topic, especially where they already have a relevant area of expertise or personal interest.

What else do you need to buy or do

Materials (e.g. handouts) will be supplied by the tutor.
You will be expected to read the handouts during the week and other small assignments, and you will be encouraged to keep a personal listening journal of new pieces which you hear to share with the class. You will be encouraged to 'listen around' the subject as much as possible.

What this course could lead to

As a result of doing this course you may feel more confident in attending other historical-cultural courses to do with music or the arts in general, where a more subject-specific approach is taken. You may feel better prepared to embark on a foundation or degree course in music, art or the humanities which takes a historical-contextual or inter-disciplinary approach to its subject. Your own experience and understanding of music should be enhanced.
There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre.

Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: and from the following websites:;;;;

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’