Day School: Six of the Best

Ref: C3741548

In the wake of the 1st World War, France sought to re-invent itself! A new generation of artists and musicians evolved. They turned to jazz and everyday music on the one hand, but looked back to Bach and Handel on the other: a breath of fresh air after the ‘mists’ of Debussy and the ‘fogs’ of Wagner. The group was inspired by Erik Satie, one of the great eccentrics of music and Jean Cocteau, the influential designer and writer, who also became, for while, the group's spokeperson. The three leading composers in Les Six were Poulenc, Honegger and Milhaud but the other three lesser known lights, Georges Auric, Germaine Taillerferre and Louis Durey are also very interesting composers. In addition to considering their work of the 1920's when their paths crossed, we shall also look forward to how each of them matured and followed their own distinctive paths.

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

A day school to study the work of 'Les Six' - a group of composers whose paths crossed in Paris of the 1920's the most prominent of which is Francis Poulenc.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Appreciate how and why French music in 1920's took a completely new path
  • Describe the motivations and preoccupations of Les Six
  • Identify the distinctive characteristics of the individual compsers who made up the group known as 'Les Six'

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?

  • Since this is a day school, there is little opportunity for assessment and feedback

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

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: Six of the Best


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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