Classical Music 101

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?


Often associated with people in wigs playing works that seem as long as a 5 day cricket match, classical music can appear to be a mysterious, impenetrable world. It isn’t.

In fact, it appears remarkably often in our daily lives, from mobile phone ringtones (Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor) to Stanley Kubrick films (everything from Handel to Penderecki), making it practically unavoidable. So, what’s it actually all about? What does the conductor actually do? Why are there so many violins? This introductory session will attempt to explore, explain and play its way through 400 years of western art music and its relevance in this day and age.

What will we cover?

This class hopes to demystify all aspects of classical music: from concert hall rituals, the instruments in the orchestra, all those dead composers and of course the actual music.

A quick overview of western music history will allow us to examine the changing roles that classical music has had in society, from rockin’ dance party soundtracks during the Baroque era to the bawdy opera houses of the 19th century and the state of the art concert halls of today. Contemporary classical music will also be examined, as well as the use of classical music in films and contemporary culture. Musical examples will be provided by a quintet of live musicians.

Who will be teaching

Sascha Kelly has completed an Honours degree in conducting at Monash University while Justina Lui has just completed a Graduate Diploma on violin at the Melbourne Conservatorium. They met at the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Writing About Music program and discovered a shared love of kaftans, a cappella choirs and of course classical music.