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Gresham College: Jeremy Summerly – Making Music – #1/3 – Musical Openings


About this lecture

The hammerblow introduction to Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony and the iconic four-note opening motif of the 5th Symphony, the unresolved start of Wagner’s Tristan & Isolde, the sensuously meandering melody that begins Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and the identical fanfare that opens both Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo and his 1610 Vespers. 

This lecture looks at how composers of all periods have risen to the challenge of how to write a memorable musical opening sentence


About this lecture series

In this three part series Visiting Professor Jeremy Summerly will look at the way that music is created, focussing on beginnings and endings; and he will also examine some famously unfinished works.

About Jeremy Summerly

Jeremy is the Sterndale Bennett Lecturer in Music at the Royal Academy of Music. He also chairs the Academy’s Continuing Professional Development Programme. 

He has delivered the annual Christmas carol service at Gresham College since 2014. In 2019, he was made Visiting Professor of Music History.

Professor Summerly’s lecture series are as follows:

2019/20 Making Music

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