undefinedGypsy music group

An introduction to the variety of cafe and light musics that were much loved by many of the great romantic composers and formed their everyday soundscape.


Resident: £365 Non-Resident: £265 (25% off for under 27s) Code: 24/220

Booking for Members opens at 11am on Tuesday 29 August 2023.

Non-Member and online booking opens at 11am on Monday 18 September 2023.

For details on how to become a Member to take advantage of early booking, see here.

What is the course about?

If any city stands at the centre of the classical music world it is surely Vienna, home of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. Geographically though it is east of Prague and not so long before Mozart’s time was the frontier between Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire. This legacy had already left its mark in many famous ‘Turkish’ compositions, but then industrialisation and mass immigration from the East transformed the city in the nineteenth century. Each incoming group brought their own unique music, much of which was heard in the cafes and taverns frequented by the famous composers. Brahms’s love of Hungarian music in particular is well known but many other styles co-existed in this great cultural melting-pot and all formed the backdrop to everyday Viennese musical life. This course is for instrumental musicians and introduces participants to the variety of these ‘other’ Viennese styles and some of the traces they left on mainstream compositions.

Tutor website: www.zrimusic.com

What will we cover?

In terms of repertory: classical music in the Ottoman style; music of Viennese ‘gypsy’ and ‘Romanian’ (ie proto-klezmer) bands taken from early recordings; other Viennese popular styles.

What will we accomplish? By the end of this course you will be able to…

- Play music that was originally part of an oral tradition 

- Realise accompanimental parts from basic harmonic information

- Improvise variations around melodies

- Listen and respond as part of an interactive group

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Standard: Improver, Confident, Skilful.

The course is for instrumental music and any standard modern instruments would be appropriate, with accordions and guitars etc welcome too. Players must be willing to experiment with improvising their own parts starting with just an outline of melody and chords, though no previous experience of this is necessary.

How will the course be taught, and will any preparation be required?

The course will be taught as a single group, though there is the possibility of dividing into two smaller groups depending on the participants and room availability.

Will music be provided in advance of the course?

No, it will be provided by the tutor on the course.

Is there anything I need to bring?

Just you and your instrument!

What previous participants said about this course…

"All brilliant and very different from other courses that I've done."

"Jon was an excellent and very knowledgeable tutor. Fantastic old cafe music recordings too. A great weekend!"

“An excellent course that was fun, instructive and well organised.”

“Excellent selection of music. The level of demand was just right for the ability of the group as a whole.”