Reading Music: How to Find your Way through a Musical Score

Ref: C2225527

All those black blobs and white circles – what do they mean? Really, it is much simpler than many of us think – essentially, it is a written way to represent musical sounds, so that others can reproduce them. This one-day course will trace why and how this musical ‘language’ developed from its beginnings in the monasteries of Europe to the sometimes complex pages of music we see today. There will be some ‘audience participation’ during the day – students will be required to use their voices – (but fear not, only in groups - and the tutor's is worse than anybody's!). Any instrumentalists are encouraged to bring their instruments along, if practical. By the end of the day, all students will be able to make sense of the blobs and circles, and join in to ‘make music’.

Course aim

To provide a basic understanding of musical notation. By the end of the day, students WILL be able to read a simple musical score and make music together.

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:

  • discuss how and when musical notation developed.
  • read and interpret the score of a simple piece of music
  • name the instruments in an orchestral score and explain how it is laid out
  • have confidence and enjoyment in making music within a group

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
  • If you have,and are able to play, a simple musical instrument, this could be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Reading Music: How to Find your Way through a Musical Score


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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