Serenades: How to Listen to Classical Music - KarazwLaimoon

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Serenades: How to Listen to Classical Music

Trips + W/Shops > Previous Workshops

Spring 2012: 5 sessions
(There is no need to know how to play music to enjoy this workshop)
The workshop highlights ways of listening to musical Components, Transformations and Forms. Participants will work with audio and video clips order to improve their listening competence in ways different from the traditional attention to melody and rhythm.
You do not need to be a musician or trained in music to enjoy this workshop. Akram is not a musician. This workshop will simply increase your enjoyment of Classical Music by preparing you to start listening to music in a different and more analytic manner.
Composers put a lot more into their work than mere melodies and instrumentation. To be fair to composers, we have to understand what else there is in a Classical Work. Composers use various (1) Transformations on (2) Musical Components to arrive at the (3) Final Form of a work. We shall expose these three aspects of Classical works. Examples will be presented and analysed by the participants in all sessions.
Session 1: presents background material. Develop the concept of 3 dimensional musical analysis (Components, Transformations and Forms).
Session 2: presents the Musical Components composers work with: melodies, themes, tempo, rhythm, dynamics, scales and keys (briefly), timbre, musical texture, color and instrumentation.
Sessions 3 and 4: show how a composer transforms the above components to arrive at the final external form: direct statement of themes/melodies, sequencing, modulation, cadences, development, reduction and contouring, contrast, rhythmic alterations, ambiguity, melodic and interval inversions, ornamentation, harmonic progressions.
Session 5: presents the standard Classical and Romantic musical forms: sonata allegro, rondos, theme and variations, scherzos, etc.
Download Presentations and Supplementary Material


Akram Najjar is a graduate of AUB in Physics and Mathematics (1966). By 1969, he completed a degree in Electronic Engineering in University of Hertfordshire, UK. His professional life was spent in Information Technology. When he was 11 years old he was sick for 6 months. His mother Souad introduced him to Classical Music, which became a life long love. (Later on joined by Rock and Jazz). Unfortunately, after an initial tuition of 18 months, he did not continue his piano studies. Through his love for music, he became an informed and dedicated amateur. At AUB, he took many courses in philosophy and literature. He used the analytic and critical approached he learnt in these fields to arrive at a critical understanding of music.

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