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Online course

From Notation to Performance: Understanding Musical Scores

Find out how musicians turn the notation of a musical score into a memorable performance. Change how you listen to music.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

From Notation to Performance: Understanding Musical Scores

Why join the course?

Would you like to know more about what musicians do in rehearsal and performance? Are you keen to learn different techniques for listening to and understanding music?

This online course will help you understand a musical score, what musicians do with the notation they contain, and how the notation you see is connected with the music you hear – from a short melody to a full orchestral score.

Focusing on Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Mahler, we’ll introduce you to a pianist, small chamber group and conductor who will explain how they create memorable performances from the notes on the page.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds[Beethoven's 5th Symphony playing]

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsCATHERINE TACKLEY: Have you ever wondered what a conductor does? How do musicians work together to create complicated music that sounds like a single person or instrument playing? [More Beethoven's 5th Symphony playing]

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 secondsCATHERINE TACKLEY: What do musicians have propped up on stands in from of them and how do they use it? What makes the lines and dots meaningful to musicians and allows them to create the sounds we call music? [More Beethoven's 5th Symphony playing]

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsCATHERINE TACKLEY: What does reading music mean? Why do some musician need printed music and some not? [More Beethoven's 5th Symphony playing]

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsCATHERINE TACKLEY: Music is a bit like a language. If you understand a little bit of the language of a country you visit you really get more from your trip. If you understand a little bit about how music works you will experience music in a different and more meaningful way. [More Beethoven's 5th Symphony playing]

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsCATHERINE TACKLEY: Come behind the scenes with us to explore what musicians do in rehearsals and concerts. Understand more about how they use notation to create the performances that we all enjoy. Ultimately learn about how a conductor navigates the full orchestra scores of symphonies by composers like Mahler and Beethoven. [More Beethoven's 5th Symphony playing]

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Who is the course for?

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.

Who will you learn with?

Catherine Tackley

I am Head of Music at the Open University. I am interested in jazz, especially in the UK - I have written a book on this topic and also one on the jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman.

Naomi Barker

Lecturer in music at the Open University. Flautist, researcher in late 16th and 17th century instrumental music and early modern enthusiast. @naomibarker3

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $59 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Statement of Participation

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course.

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  • Prove your hard work when applying to jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your commitment to learning
  • Help your CV or LinkedIn profile stand out

To receive a Statement of Participation you need to mark 50% of the steps on the course as complete.

Upgrade


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