The New World of Arnold Schönberg's Piano Music

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Overview

This course will introduce you to the solo piano works of Arnold Schönberg (including the Three Piano Pieces (Opus 11), Six Little Piano Pieces (Opus 19), Five Piano Pieces (Opus 23), Suite for Piano (Opus 25), and Piano Pieces (Opus 33a & b). Schönberg's piano works are windows into the stylistic trajectory of the composer's entire output, and we will follow his development from late Romanticism to serialism, one of the key techniques in Western classical music in the 20th century.

We will discuss the history and musical details of each work and give suggestions for pianists who are practicing and performing the compositions. We will also encounter related compositions by other composers and get a tour of Schönberg's house in Austria. You will be able to test your knowledge using review questions and compare your reflections on course content with other students.

You will explore:

  1. Schönberg's solo piano music and its historical context.
  2. Vocabulary and strategies for analyzing the music and your responses to the music.
  3. How to practice and perform the compositions.
  4. Additional, related repertoire.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for the course but there are optional units for participants who read music to analyze the compositions. Course units about the history of the compositions will likely be of interest to all participants while units about practicing and performing were designed primarily for pianists working on the repertoire.