Music Appreciation

Ref: C2226862

There is no one style for music in the twentieth century. With developments in travel and technology, composers have been able to draw on a wealth of different cultures and a range of attitudes. Some composers tried to carry on nineteenth-century ideas, others were deliberately provocative, several looked a long way back into the past for inspiration. Pop music and jazz also had a great impact and the political background to music must never be forgotten. A short course cannot possibly do justice to all styles but a wide range of music in different genres will be heard from Debussy and Elgar through Britten, Shostakovich, Richard Strauss, and Berg to more recent composers such as John Tavener and Philip Glass. Hopefully the course will show that twentieth-century music is not as scary as is sometimes feared!

Additional information about this course

Half term break on 31/10/2019

Course aim

A survey of the wide variety of musical styles in the twentieth century - many different styles, many different influences

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • All levels of knowledge and experience are welcome. There is no need to be able to read music nor to play a musical instrument or sing - unless of course you want to!

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

  • Discuss the different styles of music encountered in the twentieth century.
  • Assess the effect of political background on many composers
  • Evaluate the influences of non-Western musicians on Western composers

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
  • Music examples will be played on recordings or in live performance, introduced by the tutor with opportunity for comment and discussion.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Music Appreciation


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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