Is it Bach or Beethoven? Find out during Latrobe library course
If you can't tell your Beethoven from your Bach, Adams Memorial Library in Latrobe has a class for you.
Classical Encounters With Morrie Brand, a four-week music appreciation course, will begin at 6 p.m. May 31 in the library at 1112 Ligonier St.
Instructor Brand is director of the Westmoreland Symphony's Academy of Music and music director of the Westmoreland Youth Symphony Orchestra.
The course can serve as either an introduction or refresher course in classical music. It introduces participants to composers and also traces the development of the orchestra, Brand says.
Sessions will explore the four basic periods of classical music:
• Baroque, 1600-1750: Pieces with a single, but layered, melodic idea composed for strings, winds and harpsichord with very little percussion. “It's a very vigorous style of playing,” Brand says. Notable Baroque composers: Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.
• Classical, 1750-1825: Lighter and less complex than Baroque, with a clear melody above subordinate chordal accompaniment. “Hayden is the one who set it in motion,” Brand says. Other influential Classical composers: Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
• Romantic, 1825-1900: The more rigid form of Classical music gave way to freer expression, intense energy and passion. “The Romantics were most interested in telling stories with their music,” Brand says. Most popular Romantic composer: Tchaikovsky.
• Contemporary, 1900-present: Covers a variety of compositional styles, from experiments with dissonance and atonalism to a return to principles associated with classicism, such as order, balance and emotional restraint. “It's broken up into many forms: impressionism, neoclassicism, minimalism, among others,” Brand says. Notable Contemporary composers: Copland and Stravinsky.
Brand says he's taught the material to various groups over the years.
“One of the exciting things is that there's been a thirst for this kind of class,” he says. “It's meant for people who know a little about classical music, but we get many who are quite knowledgeable too. The class helps them organize what the know, and they can share their knowledge with others.”
Class participants are asked to commit to all four sessions, says Laura Starzynski, the library's adult events coordinator. Registration and a $10 deposit are required; the deposit is refunded to those who attend all four classes.
Information and registration: 724-539-1972
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, email@example.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.