Learn Live: 19th Century Song

Three-week course starting -
19th Century Song course

For more information

  • This event has taken place
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk

Exploring the history of art song.

Read the course outline (PDF)

This three-week online course explores the popularity and importance of art song in the 19th century: as a profitable genre for composers, a popular hobby for amateurs, and an increasingly professionalised form for inclusion in public concerts. Using sound and collections from the British Library, we will begin with the songs of Franz Schubert and trace the growing popularity of art song in Austria, Germany and England, including some surprising singable translations of famous numbers.

Week 1: Schubert and the early 19th-century Lied

An introduction to Schubert’s songs, his choice of poets, and his approach to interpreting that poetry in music. We will also look at the digitised manuscript of his famous song An die Musik, held in the British Library collections.

Week 2: Songs at home and on stage

A chance to hear German and English-language songs written across the course of the 19th century, and how composers tailored their work for either domestic performance by keen amateurs, or professional musicians on the concert platform.

Week 3: Art song abroad and in translation

Schubert’s songs were available in singable English by mid-century. This is a chance to explore some of the many translations made of vocal repertoire in the 1800s and early 1900s.

This course takes place on Zoom and we will email you a joining link the day before each one. 

This course will run across the following dates:

  • Monday 14 November 2022, 17.30 – 19.00
  • Monday 21 November 2022, 17.30 – 19.00
  • Monday 28 November 2022, 17.30 – 19.00

If you require live-captioning, please email adultlearning@bl.uk as soon as you have booked your ticket.

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Name: Learn Live: 19th Century Song
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546