The Sounds of the Oceans - Composers and the Sea

Ref: C3741223

The myriad of moods of The Sea have proved an inspiration for composers throughout the ages - this is especially true in the case of British composers, notably Vaughan WIlliams and Benjamin Britten; examples of their music will be studied, as will famous pieces by Debussy (`La Mer`) and Rimsky Korsakov (`Sheherazade`). Songs and operas that feature The Sea (e.g Britten`s `Peter Grimes` and `Billy Budd`) will also be studied as well as shorter examples including songs by Stanford (`Drake`s Drum`) and Haydn (`The Sailor`s Song`). An aural feast is promised, whatever prevailing conditions there may be are around our shores!.

Course aim

The course will explore the relationship between the Sea and composers who have used its many moods as inspiration for some of their music. We will be listening to pieces both familiar and less well-known.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course would be of particular interest to Learners with a desire to explore Music in relation to matters Nautical and History in general.

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

  • Explain how composers through the ages have sought inspiration from the Sea, and used it in some of their most famous creations.
  • Explain how the various moods of the Sea have been expressed in named compositions, eg.Britten`s `Peter GrImes` and Debussy`s `La Mer`.
  • Identify key works associated with the Sea, incuding the examples named above and others we shall listen to during the course.

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
  • Many examples will be listened to on CDs, and there will be DVD examples where appropriate.

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 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?

  • You should be able to listen to previously known pieces of Music with enhanced awareness, and be able to seek out further examples by attending concerts, as well as searching out examples on the Radio or on other listening devices.

Download full course outline

The Sounds of the Oceans - Composers and the Sea Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online 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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