Music Appreciation - Then and Now: Musicological Perspectives

Ref: C3841314

This course is intended to introduce students to the various ways in which music can be analysed and understood through artistic, cultural and social contexts. Through focused listening to a range of music drawn from traditional classical concert repertoire through to new classical music and other genres, students will be encouraged to develop their appreciation of such issues as style, aesthetics, progression and influence, form, musical history and geography. The music will consist of works by many of the well-known classical composers from very era as well as important new names. Classes will be structured around active listening and critical discussion. Topics may include but are not limited to Neoromanticism, the New German School, Vivaldi's influence upon the Baroque age, the First and Second New England Schools, the Bach Revival, Haydn's Symphonies, the Darmstadt School, Les Six.

Course aim

To explore technique, history, politics, aesthetics and stylistic / cultural influences in classical works To identify two benefits to personal health / well-being of listening to classical music To introduce students to new music

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course will be particularly suited to students interested in classical music. This could either be through previous study undertaken with WEA, at school (GCSE, AS/A Level), university (BMus) or in further education

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

  • Recognise some of the important artistic, social and cultural forces that have shaped classical music
  • Critically engage with different kinds of music and composers, broadly and specifically
  • Actively explore music through issues such as gender, accessibility, identity, metaphor, nationalism and interdisciplinarity
  • Use a range of skills relating to researching, thinking and writing about music and its artistic, cultural and social contexts
  • Demonstrate confidence to progress to further study in the fields of musicology and history of music

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support 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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Students should bring pen, notebook, file, laptop/tablet and any other materials that will be helpful in their learning. Handouts and playlists will be provided.

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
  • Reading critical books on classical music and engaged listening of any kind are encouraged

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This course could lead to a range of job opportunities. Follow link to National Careers Service for more details
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • The course could also lead to taking up an instrument

Download full Course information sheet

Music Appreciation - Then and Now: Musicological Perspectives


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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