School of Music shares footage of faculty performances from classical course

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Classical masterworks performed by talented School of Music faculty are just a click away, thanks to video recordings produced for a new online course, Music 011, Under the Hood: How Classical Music Works, authored by Stephen Hopkins, assistant professor of music. The course was developed as part of the Classical Music Project, which is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and provides opportunities to engage Penn State students, faculty and the community with classical music artists and programs.

The course, launched in fall, examines selected works from 16 of the greatest composers of western art music, with emphasis on the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. The curriculum combines aspects of two existing courses: Rudiments of Music (Music 008) and Introduction to Western Music (Music 005). The distinguishing feature of this course is its emphasis on conceptual understanding of compositional techniques, along with the use of video recordings of School of Music performance faculty.

Nearly 20 videos, featuring works such as Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and Bach’s First Cello Suite, were performed by the performance faculty and video-recorded by College of Arts and Architecture staff member Cody Goddard between February and September.

Hopkins focused on solo and chamber repertoire, selecting some of his favorite pieces.

“These needed to be great works with broad appeal, and they needed to be embraced by the faculty who performed them,” said Hopkins, noting the performers themselves also made some of the selections. “It was a collaboration that has produced an extraordinary set of performance videos.”

In order to encourage appreciation and understanding of classical music among a wider audience, the College of Arts and Architecture is posting one or two of the recordings weekly throughout the spring semester.

The first video features Kim Cook performing all six movements of Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G major for Unaccompanied Cello.  


Last Updated January 24, 2014