Music in Miniature

Ref: C2224556

"Good things come in little bundles". It is tempting to consider only the large-scale symphonies, big virtuosic concertos and grand operas. but there is a wealth of music that is smaller in scale and every bit as worthy. Some composers, e.g. Chopin, Grieg or Faure were happier writing on a small scale, and this course provides an opportunity to explore hear music written for only a few instruments or only a few minutes long *e.g. Debussy). It should also remove any conception that chamber music is "difficult": often it was composed for a group of friends to play purely for fun (e.g. Schubert or Brahms). As the course progresses, the choice of music will hopefully be determined largely by the class, though I plan to include music that might challenge. "Small is beautiful."

Course aim

An exploration of smaller-scale music, short in length or for few in number considering a wide variety of styles in various genres.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • evaluate the way in which composers have used a variety of instruments
  • demonstrate awareness of different periods in musical history
  • discuss the role of small-scale music in the development of composers'

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
  • Music examples will be introduced and played on recordings with opportunity for student discussion.

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

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
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • The amount of unknown music is vast. This course may inspire a more detailed exploration of a composer, or style or genre, or more general listening.

Download full Course information sheet

Music in Miniature


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  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
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