Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Haiku Wednesday: Learn To Write Like Mozart, Free on Coursera

1 Comment


Like Mozart’s music?
You can write like him (sort of)
Now on Coursera.

Coursera is again offering its “Write Like Mozart” course.  The session will run from April 11 to May 29, but you can preview the first week of material now.  You have to enroll by April 16.  They will offer another session that begins on May 9.  The course is free, or if you want a certificate when you complete the course, it’s $49.

If you want to learn the basics of Western composition in Mozart’s era, this is a great class.  But you have to have some prior knowledge of the rudiments of music.  Not just the ability to read music; I mean chords, scales, key signatures, intervals, and Roman numeral analysis (not as scary as it sounds). The instructor, Peter Edwards of the National University of Singapore, suggests visiting if you need a refresher course on a particular topic.

One of the nice things is, if you don’t quite pick up the content of the lectures the first time, you can play them again.  You can even download the lectures and slides.  And if you don’t complete the course–no loss! (if you haven’t paid for a certificate, that is).  You learned what you learned, and it’s more than you knew before.

If you don’t have the basics you need for the Mozart course yet, never fear. has a class “Introduction to Music Theory” which will teach you the rudiments you need to know.  It will begin on April 18. uses a flashcard-based approach for learning or reviewing music rudiments that is definitely go at your own pace.  Here are their musical offerings.  There’s lots of fun stuff there, including “Who Composed Me?” (there is also a “Who Painted Me?”) and 80 Operas, with musical clips.

Can’t read music?  Don’t want to pursue that right now? Still want to learn more about how all those dots and lines turn into glorious Mozart? has a course called “From Notation to Performance: Understanding Musical Scores.”  You do not have to be able to read music for this course.  The class is not currently available, but you can let them know you’re interested, and they’ll email you when it becomes available again.  The approach is one of visual pattern recognition.  You’ll learn how to be able to follow the “flow” of the score, and hear musicians discuss how they work together in small ensembles or individually and derive the meaning from the marks on the page.

So there’s lots of fun options out there, and if you find one you really like, let us all know about it!

Just be warned, these little courses (especially the flash card ones) are like potato chips—you can’t stop at one!

I have to get back to my music/art/photography/language courses now.  But it would be wrong not to hear some Mozart.

Here’s Mozart’s first symphony.  Written when he was eight years old.  Sigh.


Image attribution: Mozart c. 1780, portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Public domain. Questionably modified by C. Gallant.

One thought on “Haiku Wednesday: Learn To Write Like Mozart, Free on Coursera

  1. Sigh, indeed. I’m not even going to contemplate this class. I appreciate the haiku.


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