Understanding Chamber Music

1 day, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, or 4 weeks x 90 minutes

Chamber music

Chamber music is one of the most intimate forms of classical music. It combines the wealth and richness of classical music structures with the intimacy of being able to see each performer, and hear what each one is playing. This music appreciation course explores the structures and development of chamber music, and the great composers who contributed to it, including Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. We will listen to some of the great pieces of chamber music, and explore what makes them wonderful. No musical knowledge is necessary.

Course Outline

Session 1

  • What is chamber music?
  • What instruments play chamber music?
  • Some chamber music combinations
  • The structures and genres of chamber music
  • The Sonata
  • Haydn: String Quartet op. 33 no. 2, “The Joke”
  • Rondo form

Session 2

  • Baroque usic as chamber music
  • Ritornello form
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
  • Chamber music in the Classical period
  • Haydn: Father of the String Quartet
  • Haydn: String Quartet op.76 No.3 “Emperor”
  • The chamber music of Mozart
  • Mozart: Clarinet Quintet
  • Mozart: String Quintet in E flat major K. 614
  • Sonata Form

Session 3

  • Mozart and Beethoven: Violin Sonatas
  • Beethoven's chamber music
  • Beethoven: Piano Trio op. 70, “Ghost”
  • Beethoven: The late string quartets
  • Chamber music in the Romantic period
  • Chopin: Cello Sonata in G Minor, op. 65
  • Schumann: Piano Quintet
  • The chamber music of Schubert
  • Schubert: “The Trout” Piano Quintet
  • The chamber music of Brahms
  • Brahms: Clarinet Quintet, Piano Quartet Op. 60

Session 4

  • The chamber music of Tchaikovsky
  • The chamber music of Dvorak
  • Chamber music in the Twentieth Century
  • Ravel: String Quartet in F
  • Other composers: Vaughan Williams, Barber, Shostakovich, Messiaen, Sculthorpe

Music we will listen to includes

  • Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
  • Beethoven: Piano Trio op. 70, "Ghost"
  • Beethoven: The late string quartets
  • Brahms: Clarinet Quintet, Piano Quartet Op. 60
  • Chopin: Cello Sonata in G Minor, op. 65
  • Haydn: String Quartet op. 33 no. 2, "The Joke"
  • Haydn: String Quartet op.76 No.3 "Emperor"
  • Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20
  • Mozart and Beethoven: Violin Sonatas
  • Mozart: Clarinet Quintet
  • Mozart: String Quintet in E flat major K. 614
  • Ravel: String Quartet in F
  • Schubert: “The Trout” Piano Quintet
  • Schumann: Piano Quintet
Book cover Understanding Chamber Music

Buy the course notes for this class

In hard copy book form, through Lulu Press
$18 + postage

Comments

“It was the content I was looking for. Variation of teaching methods, mixture of audio and visual. Nicely paced. Learnt a lot from the entertaining day. Like the music and analysis. Gives you an insight into how a musician listens” - Keren, Fairlight

“Very enjoyable. Enjoyed the music very much with the explanation on the screen” - Barbara, Woolwich

“Comprehensive and well designed. Enjoyed anecdotes. Good pace” - Max, Pyrmont

“Excellent structured content moving chronologically through the main periods of musical history with composers highlighted. Susan is extremely knowledgeable in this field with an energetic and convivial teaching presentation. She is passionate about her subject. Excellent use of audiovisual aids maintains high relevance and interest” - John, Fairlight

“Content very full but relevant. Excellent technical devices, following music with explanatory notes etc. Good analysis of the periods and composers covered, and helpful portraits and pictures” - Nick, Woolwich

“Excellent. Interesting and entertaining content, good flow in teaching, interested in class questions. Good examples of music. Understandable. Always good teaching from Susan” - Neil, Marrickville

About Susan Deas

Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. She has been teaching music appreciation courses for more than twenty years, through Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education, WEA Sydney and at other venues. Her training includes a Bachelor of Music with a major in Performance (Piano) and Musicology, a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy), a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), and an A.Mus.A in Musicianship. Susan teaches piano and music theory to adults and children, and plays piano and organ at various venues around Sydney. Susan is an accredited piano teacher and musicianship teacher, and is on the Council of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW.

More about Susan’s qualifications

Read what people have said about Susan’s other courses

Susan’s other music courses