Music History, What to Listen for
& How to Listen to Music

Dr Declan Plummer
Saturdays 3:30-4:30pm

Click Here for Class Handouts & Other Materials


Have you ever wondered what musicians mean when they talk about pulse, metre, rhythm or pitch? Are the terms ‘dynamics’, ‘articulation’, ‘tonality’, ‘tempo’, ‘character’, ‘style & period’, ‘texture’ and ‘structure’, just musical jargon to you? Do you know what to listen for to distinguish music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic or 20th Century periods? Can you tell the difference between the music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven or any other composer?

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If you enjoy classical music, have no specialist knowledge, but would like to have these questions answered and much more, then come along to the ‘Music Appreciation’ class at the Ulster College of Music to enrich your understanding of classical music, particularly its history, composers and all of its varying styles and forms. The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Elements of Music

  • Melody
  • Rhythm, Pulse & Tempo
  • Harmony & Texture
  • Expression (Dynamics & Articulation)
  • Form (Structure)
  • Timbre (Instruments, Voices, Ensembles)
  1. History of Music

  • Medieval Period (900-1450)
  • Renaissance Period (1450-1600)
  • Baroque Period (1600-1750)
  • Classical Period (1750-1800)
  • Romantic Period (1800-1900)
  • Modern (1900 to present) including Classical, Jazz, Popular, Folk