While Italian opera set the standard in the Baroque era, German composer George Frederic Handel quickly gained popularity for his oratorios, which put operatic techniques to work in the service of sacred music. Handel’s Messiah premiered in Dublin on April 13, 1742, and remains popular to this day. Harvard’s Thomas Forrest Kelly (Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music) guides learners through Messiah’s musical highlights, while detailing Handel’s composition process, the preparations and rehearsals, and the premiere performance.
Learners in this module of First Nights need not have any prior musical experience. In this unit, you will learn the basics of musical form and analysis, the genres and styles used in Messiah, the circumstances of its first performance, and its subsequent history.
Karencompleted this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I loved this course - I just happened to see it mentioned on Twitter, a few weeks before Christmas, and it made me very happy at a time when there wasn't much to be happy about.
It's a fairly easy course. There's no heavy-duty music theory; the explanations using simple diagrams are accessible to anyone, and truly enhanced my understanding of the music. Prof. Kelly is just charming, and conveys his love of music. Part of the material is also the history of the piece, and that turned out to be just as interesting as the exploration of the musical structure.
FMI see my personal blog post at https://sloopie72.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/need-a-little-christmas-handel-and-chill-messiah-mooc/