About this Course
4.8
490 ratings
117 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 32 hours to complete

Suggested: 8 hours videos and quizzes...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 32 hours to complete

Suggested: 8 hours videos and quizzes...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Welcome to Class!

We’re happy that you’ve joined us! The items you see here will enable you to get the most out of this course. Please note that many of the items have been updated to reflect the addition of Jonathan’s newest lectures....
Reading
4 readings
Reading4 readings
Notes from the Instructor10m
Syllabus10m
Join the Curtis Online Forum10m
Getting to Know You10m
Week
2
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

How Things Were

To examine the relationship Beethoven had with the piano sonata, we begin by looking at its origins. In this lecture, we will discuss the role of music generally, and of the sonata specifically, in the time of Haydn and Mozart. This lecture will also provide an introduction to the form of the sonata—to the psychological effect sonata structure has on the listener. This background will be necessary to appreciate the innovations Beethoven introduces....
Reading
6 videos (Total 59 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Music in the Time of Haydn and Mozart12m
Enter Beethoven8m
Sonata Form in Theory7m
Sonata Form in Practice14m
…and the Form of the Sonata8m
Reading3 readings
Lesson Notes and Resources (How Things Were)10m
Lecture Corrections10m
Mr. Biss Asks...10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
How Things Were20m
Week
3
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

The First Thirteen

Beethoven’s work has traditionally been divided into three or four periods. This is problematic, for various reasons, but the first 13 of the 32 sonatas do, in a sense, form a unit. This lecture will focus on Sonata No. 4, Op. 7, which is the largest and altogether one of the most impressive of the early works. Topics will include Beethoven’s use of the piano and the use of the sonata as a “vehicle” for the pianist, the ways in which this and other early sonatas conform to the model established by Haydn and Mozart and the ways in which they do not, and the foreshadowing of the fixations of the later years, while holding, at least on the surface, to the conventions of the time. Topics will include Beethoven’s use of the piano, and the use of the sonata as a “vehicle” for the pianist, the ways in which this and other early sonatas conform to the model established by Haydn and Mozart and the ways in which they do not, and the foreshadowing of the fixations of the later years, while holding, at least on the surface, to the conventions of the time....
Reading
4 videos (Total 44 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Expanding the Scope of the Sonata: Op. 7, 1st Movement15m
Early Experiments in Metaphysics: Op. 7, 2nd Movement7m
Respecting and Disrespecting Tradition: Op. 7, 3rd and 4th Movements11m
Reading3 readings
Lesson Notes and Resources (The First Thirteen)10m
Mr. Biss Asks...10m
Sonata from "The First Thirteen"10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
The First Thirteen20m
Week
4
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

New Paths

Beethoven’s conception of the sonata was perpetually in flux, but the year 1801 is a particularly experimental one. The four sonatas Op. 26 through 28 (Nos. 14 through 17, chronologically) feature the most concrete innovations among the sonatas written up to that point, and are the focus of this lecture. There will be discussion of the relationship between the movements in a classical sonata, and the radical shift it begins to undergo at this point. We will also examine the ways in which these sonatas were influential to future generations of composers, which the earlier works, great as they are, were not. As a special feature for this lecture, a recording by a current Curtis student of the first movement of Op. 28 will be available on Curtis Performs....
Reading
5 videos (Total 59 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Re-shaping the Sonata: Op. 2619m
Blurring the Lines Between Fantasy and Sonata: Op. 27, No. 16m
Psychological Extremity in Music: Op. 27, No.215m
Subtlety and Innovation: Op. 289m
Reading4 readings
Lesson Notes and Resources (New Paths)10m
Lecture Correction10m
Mr. Biss Asks...10m
Sonatas from "New Paths"10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
New Paths20m

Instructor

Avatar

Jonathan Biss

Neubauer Family Chair in Piano Studies
Performance Faculty

About Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. Innovative programs encourage students to invent 21st-century musical careers through unique "learn by doing" opportunities and over 150 performances per year in Philadelphia and around the globe. One of the world’s leading conservatories, Curtis provides its 165 students with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and has produced an impressive number of notable artists since its founding in 1924. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

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