Benjamin Britten

Ref: C2224302

British composers who did not embrace folksy nationalism had a unique voice which we hear more clearly in the 21st century. With Britten re-defining 'English' music after WW2, we also consider his companions: Howells, Berkeley, and Tippett, the re-shaping of musical form and the creation of a new audience.

Course aim

Britten is the major composer of post WW2 music. We will address his work and the work of contemporary composers; justify their considerable public support and re-evaluate their contribution from the 21st century standpoint.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • consider the work of Britten in the context of mid 20th century british music
  • evaluate his work in relation to that of 20th century European and American composers
  • relate his word setting to the work of the original poets and librettists
  • recognise his qualities as an orchestrator

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Benjamin Britten


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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