Northern Lights

Ref: C3741148

Each week we shall study one or two works by leading Scandinavian composers and try to gain an insight into what makes them `tick. Works will include Sibelius` Violin concerto, Grieg's Cello Sonata, Rautavaara's `Cantus Arcticus' for birds and orchestra, and symphonies by Sibelius, Nielsen and Berwald.

Course aim

To engender an appreciation and understanding of some of the great Scandinavian composers still relatively undiscovered in this country and to see their work in the context of mainstream European music.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Recognise the influences and preoccupations of Scandinavian composers and discuss these in class.
  • Appreciate some of the distinctive styles of some of the Scandinavian composers and explain your preferences.
  • Understand how the music of Scandinavian composers deviates from the 'German' tradition of Beethoven, Brahms and others and name three of its distinctive features.

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

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?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • 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
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full Course information sheet

Northern Lights


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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