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Concertos for All

Course Times & Enrolment

Mondays from 25th September 2023 (Code MU159-102) Mondays from
25th September 2023 2:10pm - 4:00pm • (10 classes)
M14 Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Ron Butlin MA Dip Adult Ed & Comm Dev
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

This course will be of interest to general music lovers who would like to gain an overview of the history of the concerto in western classical music. This will be achieved through a close examination of changes in the concerto from early baroque to the early 20th Century, accompanied by brief biographies of the composers under discussion.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge is required.

Content of Course

‘Concertos for All’ will be an informal history of western classical music by way of the concerto – with brief biographies of the main composers. Lots of lively discussion and CD excerpts.

1. Baroque – The concerto form. Rise of the concerto in Italy and Germany –Vivaldi and Bach (and his sons).

2. The Classical period – Haydn and early Mozart. The rise of the sonata form.

3. Mozart.

4. Beethoven and into Romanticism: Mendelssohn, Schumann.

5. Brahms, Paganini, Liszt, Tchaikovsky.

6. The rise of Nationalism: Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Elgar.

Teaching method(s)

Illustrated lecture and discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Discuss the importance of concertos;

  • Explain what makes a concerto ‘special’;

  • Analyse the elements and structure of the concerto;

  • Have an overview of the history of western music;

  • Discuss the biographies of some major composers.


Core Readings

  • Butlin, R., 1988. Vivaldi and the Number 3. London: Serpent’s Tail.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.