Skip to main content
The Age of Beethoven - I

Course details

From £215.00
10 CATS points

24 Jan 2020 - 03 Apr 2020
Day of week

The Age of Beethoven - I


Beethoven's lifespan (1770-1827) saw music transformed almost beyond recognition. This course will study music composed in this period, particularly by Beethoven - a period that saw the decline of the classical style and the dawning of what came to be known as romanticism. The era was retrospectively seen to be dominated by Beethoven and the course will pay particular attention to his musical development but other important composers active at this time, such as Cherubini, Spontini, Schubert, Spohr, Rossini and Weber will also be studied. Apart from individual composers' developments, the course will also consider social and political change and how it affected musical genres and composers' careers. Particular attention will be paid to genres such as opera, symphony and concerto but consideration will also be given to chamber music and solo song.

Programme details

Courses starts: 24 Jan 2020

Week 1:  Towards Mastery I 1785-1795

Week 2:  Towards Mastery II 1785-1795

Week 3:  Towards Mastery III 1788-1797 Comparisons with Haydn and Mozart

Week 4:  Early Maturity I 1795 1799 The Symphony  - Beethoven compared with Haydn

Week 5:  Early Maturity II 1788-1800 The Piano Concerto and the String Quartet – Beethoven compared with Mozart

Week 6:  Early Maturity III 1799-1802 Success and crisis

Week 7:  Early Maturity IV 1799-1802 Success and crisis

Week 8:  Fidelio I, Week 8-9 1802-1814

Week 9:  Fidelio II, Week 8-9 1802-1814

Week 10: ‘Heroic’ Beethoven, Week 10 


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £215.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Dr Peter Copley

Peter Copley D.Phil, MA, B.mus is a composer, cellist and pianist. He is a visiting lecturer at OUDCE, the University of Sussex and for the Open University, where he has been a Research Associate for the music faculty.

Course aims

To promote understanding and knowledge of  music written between approximately 1785 and 1805, particularly by Beethoven.

Course Objectives: 

To examine and discuss examples of music from this period in their historical and cultural context.

Teaching methods

  • informal lectures with audio and visual illustration
  • handouts
  • class / group discussion
  • individual oral presentations
  • listening to relevant music in students’ own time

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, student s will be expected to:

  • have developed their ability to discuss late classical and early romantic compositions, particularly by Beethoven using an appropriate vocabulary.
  • have developed their understanding of the character and chronology of the late classical and early romantic period in musical history.
  • have developed some understanding of the  wider cultural context of particular compositions, such as Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony
  • have developed their ability to carry out appropriate research, e.g. the use of libraries.
  • have developed their ability to exercise academic skills such as essay writing.

Assessment methods

One of the following:

  •  an essay (maximum 1000 words), subject to be negotiated with the tutor.
  •  a written summary of material used for an individual oral presentation
  •  a review of a relevant performance (live or recorded)
  •  a listening diary / log of relevant music

A short piece of preliminary work will also be required for formative assessment to be completed by week 3.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

No specialist knowledge, such as music reading ability is required for full participation in this course - just an interest in listening to music and finding out more about its background.

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)