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This free course, Schubert's Lieder: Settings of Goethe's poems, looks at the short poems in German that were set to music by Franz Schubert (17971828) 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. The course 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 home page of the course. 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.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand Schubert's place as a composer in early nineteenth-century Vienna
- understand the place of Schubert in the history of German song and the development of Romanticism
- follow the words of songs by Schubert while listening to a recording, using parallel German and English texts
- comment on the relationship between words and music in Schubert's song settings.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Schubert: introduction
- 2 Schubert and Vienna
- 3 Schubert and the Lied
- 4 The songs
- 4.1 A note on the translations and scores
- 4.2 Simplicity and complexity
- 4.3 Voice and accompaniment
- 4.4 ‘Erlkönig’ (‘The Erl-king’, 1815)
- 4.5 Two mythological songs: ‘Prometheus’ (1819) and ‘Ganymed’ (1817)
- 5 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
- Further reading
Study this free course
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Schubert's Lieder: Settings of Goethe's poems
This course looks at a selection of 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 course discusses a choice of Schubert's settings of Goethe's poems, and using recordings, the poems (in German with parallel translations into English) and the some music scores. 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.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free History of Art courses or view the range of currently available OU History of Art courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 14th April 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 14th April 2016
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