The course is the fourth in a series that explores Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas in chronological order.
The course consists of six modules, each of which covers three sonatas. Through video lectures, Biss guides students through an analysis of the musical structure and themes of each sonata, as well as the historical and cultural context in which they were composed.
In addition to the lectures, the course includes performance demonstrations by Biss, as well as interviews with other pianists and musicians about their interpretations of the sonatas. There are also quizzes and assignments to help students reinforce their understanding of the material.
Overall, the course aims to deepen students' appreciation and understanding of Beethoven's music, as well as their ability to analyze and interpret classical music more broadly. It is suitable for anyone with an interest in classical music, but some prior knowledge of music theory and piano playing is recommended.
Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 4 is a Coursera course taught by pianist and Beethoven specialist, Jonathan Biss. The course is divided into 6 modules, each of which covers 3 sonatas, for a total of 18 lectures.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the course:
Module 1: Early middle period sonatas
- Lecture 1: Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14, No. 1
- Lecture 2: Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14, No. 2
- Lecture 3: Sonata No. 13 in E-flat major, Op. 27, No. 1
Module 2: Middle period sonatas
- Lecture 4: Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major, Op. 31, No. 3
- Lecture 5: Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53
- Lecture 6: Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54
Module 3: Late middle period sonatas
- Lecture 7: Sonata No. 26 in E-flat major, Op. 81a, "Les Adieux"
- Lecture 8: Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90
- Lecture 9: Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101
Module 4: Late period sonatas
- Lecture 10: Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106, "Hammerklavier" Part 1
- Lecture 11: Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106, "Hammerklavier" Part 2
- Lecture 12: Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
Module 5: Late period sonatas continued
- Lecture 13: Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110
- Lecture 14: Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
- Lecture 15: Reflections on the late sonatas
Module 6: Bonus material
- Lecture 16: Playing the Hammerklavier
- Lecture 17: Why I love Beethoven
- Lecture 18: What's next?
In addition to the lectures, the course includes performance demonstrations by Biss, as well as interviews with other pianists and musicians about their interpretations of the sonatas. There are also quizzes and assignments to help students reinforce their understanding of the material. The course is suitable for anyone with an interest in classical music, but some prior knowledge of music theory and piano playing is recommended.
Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 4 is a highly regarded course on Coursera, and it is known for its excellent teaching and in-depth exploration of Beethoven's piano sonatas. The course is taught by Jonathan Biss, a renowned pianist and professor at the Curtis Institute of Music.
One of the strengths of the course is its organization. The course is divided into 6 modules, each covering a set of Beethoven's piano sonatas from different periods in his life. The lectures in each module are structured in a way that makes it easy for learners to understand and appreciate the nuances of the music. Each lecture is accompanied by a performance demonstration by Biss, who brings the music to life with his virtuosic playing.
Another strength of the course is the quality of the lectures themselves. Biss is known for his engaging and informative teaching style, and he brings his expertise as both a pianist and a music scholar to bear in his presentations. He takes learners through each sonata step-by-step, explaining the musical structures and motifs that make Beethoven's music so powerful and enduring.
The course also includes a range of supplementary materials that help learners deepen their understanding of the sonatas. These materials include interviews with other musicians and scholars, as well as quizzes and assignments that test learners' knowledge of the material.
However, one potential weakness of the course is that it may be too challenging for learners who do not have a background in music theory or piano playing. Some of the lectures and assignments require a deep understanding of musical concepts that may be difficult for beginners to grasp. Additionally, some learners have found the quizzes and assignments to be overly time-consuming and difficult.
Overall, Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 4 is a highly recommended course for anyone with a serious interest in classical music and Beethoven's piano sonatas in particular. It offers a deep and insightful exploration of the music, taught by one of the foremost authorities on the subject.
At the time, the course has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars based on over 61 rating.
What you'll learn:
After completing Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 4 on Coursera, learners can expect to gain several skills and competencies related to classical music and piano playing. These include:
A deeper understanding of Beethoven's piano sonatas: Learners will gain a greater appreciation for the compositional techniques and musical structures that make Beethoven's music so compelling.
Enhanced listening skills: The course helps learners develop the ability to listen to music more critically and discerningly, allowing them to identify and appreciate nuances in the music that they might have previously missed.
Greater proficiency in piano playing: While the course does not provide hands-on piano instruction, it does offer insights and tips from a master pianist that can help learners improve their technique and musicianship.
Improved knowledge of music theory: The course covers a range of music theory concepts, including harmony, rhythm, and form, that are essential for understanding Beethoven's music and classical music more broadly.
Increased confidence in analyzing and interpreting music: By the end of the course, learners will have developed a range of analytical tools and techniques that they can use to better understand and interpret classical music.
Overall, Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 4 is a comprehensive and engaging course that offers learners a wealth of knowledge and insights into Beethoven's music and classical music more broadly. By the end of the course, learners will have gained a deeper appreciation for the artistry and complexity of Beethoven's piano sonatas, as well as the skills and knowledge needed to continue exploring and enjoying classical music on their own.
Jonathan Biss is a renowned American pianist, composer, and music educator. Born in 1980, he began studying piano at a young age, and by his early 20s had already established himself as one of the most promising young musicians of his generation.
Biss has received numerous awards and accolades for his playing, including the Leonard Bernstein Award, the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic.
In addition to his performing career, Biss is also a dedicated music educator. He has taught at the Curtis Institute of Music since 2010, and has also held teaching positions at the New England Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center.
As a musician, Biss is known for his virtuosic playing and his deep understanding of classical music. He has recorded numerous albums of classical repertoire, including several critically acclaimed recordings of Beethoven's piano sonatas. He is also a respected music scholar, and has written extensively about music and the arts for publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Guardian.
Overall, Jonathan Biss is a highly respected musician and music educator who has made significant contributions to the world of classical music. His deep knowledge of music theory and his virtuosic piano playing make him a particularly compelling instructor for courses such as Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 4 on Coursera.
The requirements for Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 4 by Jonathan Biss on Coursera include:
Basic knowledge of music theory: Learners are expected to have a basic understanding of music theory, including musical notation, scales, and chords.
Prior experience with classical music: Learners should have some prior experience listening to and playing classical music, as the course assumes a certain level of familiarity with the genre.
Intermediate to advanced piano skills: The course is designed for intermediate to advanced piano players who are interested in deepening their understanding of Beethoven's piano sonatas and classical music more broadly.
Access to a piano: Learners will need access to a piano in order to practice the techniques and exercises covered in the course.
Time commitment: The course consists of several hours of video lectures and exercises, as well as weekly assignments and quizzes. Learners should be prepared to dedicate several hours each week to the course in order to fully engage with the material.
Overall, the course is designed for serious music students and professionals, as well as dedicated amateur pianists with a passion for classical music. While the requirements are not overly strict, learners should have a strong foundation in music theory and piano playing in order to fully benefit from the course.