Striking a note with Adrian Duncan

by Majella Reid

Adrian DuncanAdrian Duncan of Ballymahon is a man with an avid interest in the arts, music and literature and this has manifested itself in many forms; from his involvement in the Goldsmith International Literary Festival, to his completion of a Bachelor degree in Music (Hons) in 2009. He was awarded the latter by the National University of Ireland (NUI), Maynooth.

It is therefore perhaps inevitable that this musicologist should undertake a series of lectures focused on ‘The Story of Western Music’.

To this end, Mr Duncan has designed a series of six lectures which he will deliver over a six week period, starting Tuesday March 20. Entitled ‘The Story of Western Music’, the series will cover 1,000 years of the world’s most famous and influential periods of music.

The content of the lectures will look at the development of Western art music from the Middle Ages to the present day. The classes will be presented in an informal manner and talks will be interspersed with samples of music from the different genres and periods.

“This lecture series is open to anyone with an interest in music. It’s very much about covering the basics,” said Mr Duncan, who also teaches piano and provides tuition in Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Music examinations.

It is Mr Duncan’s intention that the content of each lecture will roughly coincide with the various periods throughout music history.

Starting with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Periods, Mr Duncan will look at areas such as Gregorian Chant, Josquin, Du Fay, and English Lute Song.

During the Baroque period, the lecture will move to artists and movements such as Monteverdi, Strozzi, Corelli, concerto (Vivaldi) and fugue (Bach). In the classical period, the areas covered include Symphony / String quartet (Haydn), opera (Mozart), French Revolution and the rise of the middle classes.

The Romantic Period is divided across two lectures, the first of which looks at Beethoven’s late period, Schubert’s German song, and Mendelssohn’s piano works.

The second lecture concerning the Romantic Period, will allow students to delve into artists such as Brahms, Strauss, Foster, and of course influential events such as the Franco-Prussian War and the emergence of the United States.

Finally, in the Modern and Post Modern Period, Mr Duncan will take his class through key concerns such as Atonality, Stravinsky, Cage, the Jazz Age, world music and recording techniques.

In what promises to be an inviting lecture series, Mr Duncan said: “It is something that I have thought about doing for some time. Perhaps it is eventually something that I can prune into a single school module. That’s a possibility.”

For further information contact Mr Adrian Duncan on 086-2580068 or email: