I just stumbled onto a free online course, Schubert’s Lieder: Settings of Goethe’s Poems. It’s offered by OpenLearn, a website that hosts free online courses offered by The Open University. I haven’t delved into the course yet, but it could be useful – here’s the course description:
This unit looks at the short poems in German that were set to music by Franz Schubert (1797–1828) for a single voice with piano, a genre known as ‘Lieder’ (the German for ‘songs’). Once they became widely known, Schubert’s Lieder influenced generations of songwriters up to the present day.This unit then discusses a selection of Schubert’s settings of Goethe’s poems, and recordings of all of them are provided. You can find the poems, in German with parallel translations into English and the music scores of four of the song settings, on the unit home page. You are not expected to be able to read the music, but even if you are not very familiar with musical notation, you may well find the scores useful in identifying what is happening in the songs.
By the end of your work on this unit you should:
- have learned about Schubert’s place as a composer in early nineteenth-century Vienna;
- have learned about the place of Schubert in the history of German song and the development of Romanticism;
- be able to follow the words of songs by Schubert while listening to a recording, using parallel German and English texts;
- be able to comment on the relationship between words and music in Schubert’s song settings.
The course was created by Dr. Robert Philip.
Description of OpenLearn (from their website):
OpenLearn gives you free access to learning materials from The Open University.
We launched OpenLearn back in October 2006 thanks to a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Our shared vision was free online education, open to anyone, anywhere in the world. OpenLearn is the result and we have since reached over 23 million people.
In the first two years, OpenLearn grew to include over 8000 study hours of learning materials from Open University courses. The website continues to grow with new course materials being published regularly in our OpenLearn ‘Try’ section.
Description of The Open University (from their website):
The Open University is a world leader in modern distance learning, the pioneer of teaching and learning methods which enable people to achieve their career and life goals studying at times and in places to suit them.
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