Day School: Beyond the Planets - The Music of Gustav Holst

Ref: C3741182

The suite 'The Planets' is one of the most famous works of the early twentieth century, and also one of the most stunningly original. Yet its very popularity can obscure the rich and varied achievements of this great English composer. Holst was such a remarkable individual, with interests and enthusiasms ranging from British folk music to oriental philosophy, and all of those interests find their way one way or another into his music. We shall explore the vocal and instrumental music, including the Hardy-inspired orchestral work Egdon Heath and the magnificent choral work The Hymn of Jesus.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

To become more familiar with the wide-ranging output of composer Gustav Holst.

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:

  • Identify Holst's place in the broader history of British music.
  • Describe the special qualities of Holst's vocal and intrumental music.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how Holst's love of Thomas Hardy's novels inspired Egdon Heath.
  • Discuss the influence of Gnosticism on The Hymn of Jesus.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • It is not essential but the follwing book would be an excellent preparation for this day-school: Michael Short: Gustav Holst: The Man and his Music (Circaidy Gregory Press) Available as e-book.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: Beyond the Planets - The Music of Gustav Holst


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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