Explore what's involved when musicians create a performance from musical notation in this free online course.
Would you like to know more about what musicians do in rehearsals and performances? Would you like to learn different techniques for listening to and understanding music?
This free course provides a general introduction to how to understand a musical score, and insights into what professional musicians do with the notation that these contain. You'll learn how to connect the notation you see with the music you hear, from short familiar melodies to a full orchestral score.
Focusing on works by Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Mahler, we'll introduce you to a pianist, a small chamber group and a conductor who will explain how they create memorable performances from the notes on the page.
This course is intended for anyone with an interest in music. You do not need to be able to read musical notation or play an instrument.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the reasons for different musical notations
- understand the relationship between notation and performance
- navigate printed music
- listen to a simple musical example alongside its notation.
Record of achievement
By enrolling on this course you can track your progress and gain a Statement of Participation for completing the whole course.
The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. We welcome your feedback and suggestions to improve the experience for other learners.
Creative Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.