First Nights: Handel’s Messiah and Baroque Oratorio

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9/10 stars
based on  13 reviews
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Cost FREE
Start Date On demand
First Nights: Handel’s Messiah and Baroque Oratorio

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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22043 reviews

Course Description

While Italian opera set the standard in the Baroque era, German composer George Frederic Handel quickly gained popularity for his oratorios, which put operatic techniques to work in the service of sacred music. Handel’s Messiah premiered in Dublin on April 13, 1742, and remains popular to this day. Harvard’s Thomas Forrest Kelly (Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music) guides learners through Messiah’s musical highlights, while detailing Handel’s composition process, the preparations and rehearsals, and the premiere performance.

Learners in this module of First Nights need not have any prior musical experience. In this unit, you will learn the basics of musical form and analysis, the genres and styles used in Messiah, the circumstances of its first performance, and its subsequent history. 

Additional First Nights Modules:
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the 19th Century Orchestra


HarvardX requires individuals who enro...

While Italian opera set the standard in the Baroque era, German composer George Frederic Handel quickly gained popularity for his oratorios, which put operatic techniques to work in the service of sacred music. Handel’s Messiah premiered in Dublin on April 13, 1742, and remains popular to this day. Harvard’s Thomas Forrest Kelly (Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music) guides learners through Messiah’s musical highlights, while detailing Handel’s composition process, the preparations and rehearsals, and the premiere performance.

Learners in this module of First Nights need not have any prior musical experience. In this unit, you will learn the basics of musical form and analysis, the genres and styles used in Messiah, the circumstances of its first performance, and its subsequent history. 

Additional First Nights Modules:
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the 19th Century Orchestra


HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the edX honor code, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.

HarvardX pursues the science of learning. By registering as an online learner in an HX course, you will also participate in research about learning. Read our research statement to learn more.

Harvard University and HarvardX are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination or harassment in our program. All members of the HarvardX community are expected to abide by Harvard policies on nondiscrimination, including sexual harassment, and the edX Terms of Service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact harvardx@harvard.edu and/or report your experience through the edX contact form.

Reviews 9/10 stars
13 Reviews for First Nights: Handel’s Messiah and Baroque Oratorio

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 10 months ago
This was a very informative course I learnt a lot, I'd certainly recommend it to anyone. Thomas Kelly was very engaging and the layout of the course was very accessible!
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Leandro Dicaciate profile image
Leandro Dicaciate profile image

Leandro Dicaciate

9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
WOW! What a course. Simple, fun and very informative. Mr. Thomas is such a wonderful teacher. I had no prior experience with it and I was quite glad with how much I had learned by the end of it. I fell really privileged to have taken this beautiful course. Thanks to all the staff for making it available here in edX. I hope to see a lot more of the First Nights series. If I can make on minor (very minor) critique is that the voices part seems a bit lacking and I had to look for other sources to understand the voice types and all that. I don't mind looking for external sources to complement the content (I think thats actually positive) but I do feel that on that part the content could have been a little more detailed.
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Besart C profile image
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Besart C

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
Amazing course! I really enjoyed the lessons and Prof. Kelly is exceptional! After finished this one I went directly to HarvardX: MUS24.3x First Nights - Beethoven's 9th. I hope the series continues with other courses like this.
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Scott West profile image
Scott West profile image

Scott West

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
This was the second course from Mr. Kelly that I have taken on edX. Both have exceeded my expectations. I sincerely hope he has every intention of continuing this fascinating study of major works of classical music.
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Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
3 years, 2 months ago
This is an excellent series for a novice like myself. I admit that I came in not knowing an alto from a tenor. Prof Kelly has an excellent teaching style that teaches the basics of an oratorio through the in depth study of Handel's Messiah. It is a wonderful MOOC that demonstrates the value of MOOCs in providing any learner with a well rounded education.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
Excellent course. Great professor - he is easy to follow and makes the material accessible to students without much familiarity to the genre. I love when classwork includes listening to great performances. Also, Thank you for introducing me to the work of Claus Guth. I am really enjoying it.
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Maximiliano García de Veas profile image
Maximiliano García de Veas profile image

Maximiliano García de Veas

8/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
A great course that music lovers will appreciate and enjoy. Very complete with numerous comprehension exercises. Professional and reliable. Recommended!
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YUMIKO HIRAI profile image
YUMIKO HIRAI profile image

YUMIKO HIRAI

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
It was my first experience to take online course, and it was much better than I thought. Especially professor Kelly was excellent and thanks to him ( and thanks to all staff of provider), I was able to enjoy this course very much.
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Kristina Šekrst profile image
Kristina Šekrst profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 102 reviews
  • 102 completed
3 years, 3 months ago
As an excerpt of a review of Messiah's premiere says - "conspired to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear" - this course does the same. I was curious at first to see what it offers, since 'For unto us' is one of my dearest classical pieces. Professor Kelly's ease of explaining the most complex structures combined with a wealth of information about cultural and historical context of that day, full with interesting trivia and scholar research, makes this course a wonderful contribution to the world of MOOCs. I can't wait for the other ones planned - a strong recommendation for everybody.
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Fernando de la Iglesia profile image
Fernando de la Iglesia profile image

Fernando de la Iglesia

8/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
Great course. It was deligthful to learn about the musical structure of Messiah as well as its historical context. The profeesor is lovely and makes the content/history live, at the same time he knows how to transmit and to teach Music. I really enjoyed the course.
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Tracey Nelson profile image
Tracey Nelson profile image

Tracey Nelson

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 4 months ago
This was a brilliant MOOC - by far the most enjoyable I have studied! Thomas Forrest Kelly is knowledgeable and passionate about the subject and he shares his enthusiasm and expertise in a relaxed and captivating style. Outstanding quality in the content and presentation. I would love to do more of this type of course. Congratulations to the entire content development team!
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Cristina Martinez profile image
Cristina Martinez profile image

Cristina Martinez

9/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 4 months ago
In my opinion, it is the best mooc i have taken. The worst of it: it is too short. I am at the end, but with hunger for more.
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Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 5 months ago
Absolutely delightful examination of Handel's timeless masterpiece. Professor Kelly's video lectures are energetic and captivating; erudite without being stodgy and comprehensive without being cumbersome. A most enriching experience for anyone who adores Handel in particular or Baroque Music in general.
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Rating Details


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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.