Telling Tales 400 years of narratives in music

Ref: C2419967

‘Telling Tales’ is a follow-up to the musical appreciation courses held in Enfield in 2017-18. It will further examine the potential for music - with or without a text - to tell stories and reflect the characteristics of all kinds of narratives:- folk-tales, fairy-tales, myths and legends from around the world, even episodes from history. It will try to create a better understanding of how the language of music can deal effectively with all of these, and how composers from the past embellished and enriched these classic tales with the full power of their imagination.

Course aim

This course is designed to illuminate the relationship between story-telling and music. It will look at a wide variety of different musical styles and periods to better understand how music can tell a good story.

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:

  • Have a greater knowledge of the type of tales from a wide range of different cultures which have inspired musicians of the past.
  • Recognise the music of a wide variety of composers more easily and confidently.
  • Understand more closely how narrative-based music actually works, and the effect which it has had on the development of music in general.

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
  • 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
  • All materials 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

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Telling Tales 400 years of narratives in music


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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