The Composer of 'The Snowman' - Howard Blake and his Concert Music since 1982

Ref: C3842626

Composer Howard Blake came to fame with his music for Channel 4’s “The Snowman” in 1982. He has composed many works for TV programmes and TV commercials, but this course looks at his concert music written since 1982, in particular at his philosophy of “The Tune” and his efforts to revitalise serious concert music. In particular we will look at his Violin Concerto, composed for performance in Leeds Town Hall in 1993 and his specially commissioned Piano Concerto, composed to celebrate the 30th birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Course aim

To chart the concert music of Howard Blake – composer of “The Snowman” since 1982 and examine his compositional philosophy – that of “The Tune”.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • 1. Begin to understand the cultural currents that have affected Classical Music in the 20th century
  • 2. Begin to understand the nature of the catastrophic developments that ripped Classical Music apart in the 20th Century.
  • 3. Begin to understand the importance of “tunes” and “keys” for music as a whole.
  • 4. Begin to understand the effect of music on your emotions and your body.
  • 5. Begin to understand the effect that music has on the wider world.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Reading the latest issues of BBC Music and Gramophone Magazine will usually provide stimulating articles that will highlight some of the issues discussed in this course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Composer of 'The Snowman' - Howard Blake and his Concert Music since 1982

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This course has been cancelled.


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
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