Aspects of Russian Music

Ref: C2340846

Russian composers have been a significant force in Western concert music for scarcely more than about 150 years, but in that short time they have produced some of the most popular works in the repertory. We shall look the music’s roots in folk music and the music of the Orthodox Church, before moving on to various topics including the influence of neighbouring Asian cultures, evocations of 18th-century music, responses to the work of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, and the specific genres of songs, chamber music and ballet. Featured composers will include Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Skryabin, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Course aim

The course aims to explore Russian music of the last two hundred years through a succession of various topics. Suitable for everyone from complete newcomers to regular concert-goers

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers

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

  • Identify six major Russian composers and assess their significance.
  • Identify at least one work by one of these composers that illustrates one of this course’s major topics.
  • Describe ways in which Russian music relates to either the Western European tradition or Asian influences.
  • Assess the significance of the difference in outlook referred to in No 3.

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • You may wish to bring a folder for handouts, a notepad and pen.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Suggestions for further reading and the addresses of relevant websites will be included on the handout for each session. Relevant broadcasts and related live performances in the area will be brought to students' attention at each session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Topics for future courses will be discussed and decided in class.

Download full course information sheet

Aspects of Russian Music


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  • 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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