Skip to main content

Our music appreciation classes have now been expanded to include three sessions:

Music Appreciation (Thursday online and Friday @Semitone)

Advanced Music Appreciation (Wednesday online - not currently in session)

Have you ever wanted to know more about classical music but felt too intimidated to ask? Have you ever been at a concert and enjoyed it, but felt like you didn't totally know what was going on?

Or, are you a classical music enthusiast who wants to know more about your favourite works, or explore some pieces you haven't heard before? 


piano from above


Semitone's music appreciation classes might be for you. It's informed, but informal; complete but casual. If you want to develop a better appreciation of classical music, then you have to listen to it. Peter introduces each piece by saying something about the composer's place in the development of music, how the piece came to be written and what to listen out for before we listen to it. We listen together, and share our own reactions to each piece.

For any questions about music appreciation classes, please email

See below for details of the current sessions.

Music Appreciation

This course is for anyone who is interested in classical music. You needn't have any prior knowledge in order to fully enjoy the sessions.



Friday 10:30am-12:00pm/@Semitone Studios

Cost: £63 for all 9 sessions or £8 per session

(If this cost is a hardship, please let us know and you may pay what you can afford.)

Friday 5 July: no session

Friday 12 July: Johann Sebastian Bach, Two early cantatas written around 1707 before Bach had
encountered Vivaldi’s music, number 4 and number 150

Friday 19 July: Joseph Haydn, Symphony No 82 in C major The Bear, the first of the six
symphonies commissioned in 1786 for performance at a series of subscription concerts in Paris

Friday 26 July: no session

Friday 2 August: Frédéric Chopin, Piano concerto No 2 in F minor, Opus 21, written when the
composer was aged 20 and first performed by him in Warsaw prior to his move to Paris

Friday 9 August: no session

Friday 16 August: Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No 11 in G minor, Opus 103, The Year 1905, a
cinematic score written in 1957 which was an immediate popular success in the Soviet Union

Friday 23 August: no session

Friday 30 August: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No 9 in D minor, Opus 125, written in
response to a commission by the Philharmonic Society of London, first three movements

Friday 6 September: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No 9, the choral finale

Friday 13 September: Alice Mary Smith, Symphony No 2 in A minor, written in 1876 in response to
a competition for symphonies by British composers but not submitted

Friday 20 September: Antonín Dvořák, The Golden Spinning Wheel, Opus 109, one of a set of five
symphonic poems which the composer wrote in 1896-7 towards the end of his career

Friday 27 September: Francis Poulenc, Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, written in 1949 in
response to a commission from the Boston Symphony Orchestra


Advanced Music Appreciation

This course is for listeners who have at least basic knowledge of classical music - terminology, form, etc. Please enquire if you are unsure. 

The course has finished for the summer but will restart in September.



Cost: £60 for all 6 spring/summer sessions or £12 per session

(If this cost is a hardship, please let us know and you may pay what you can afford.)

Six Significant Years

(spring term, now completed)

These online sessions set out to explore a range of classical music composed over the past three hundred years or so, including music in a variety of genres: orchestral, instrumental, choral and songs. The aim to is to include some well-known pieces but also to explore less familiar repertoire; there is such a wealth of music that we do not normally hear. The theme for each course is chosen to provide a framework for this. Pieces will be introduced and then we will listen to them and share reactions. This short course of six sessions will explore the music which was new in six significant years in the history of ‘classical’ music, possibly written that year or first performed in that year.

Wednesday 17 April: 1732 the birth of Joseph Haydn

Wednesday 24 April: 1770 the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven

Wednesday 1 May: 1813 the birth of Richard Wagner

Wednesday 8 May: 1862 the birth of Claude Debussy

Wednesday 15 May: 1913 the birth of Benjamin Britten

Wednesday 22 May: 1945 the death of Béla Bartók