French Musical miniatures

Ref: C2226887

It is tempting to think of great symphonies, large-scale operas and profound oratorios when listening to music, but there were some composers who wrote beautiful small-scale music. This course will consider some of the French composers - the Couperins, Faure, Duparc, Satie, Debussy etc as well as composers who spent much of their lives in France - Chopin, Stravinsky and others. A wide variety of music in various genres will be played and discussed. Hopefully this course will introduce students to some unfamiliar music by lesser-known composers; it may also help to show that chamber music is not overwhelmingly high-brow!

Additional information about this course

Half term break 18/02/2020

Course aim

A consideration of smaller-scale French music, avoiding grand opera, large symphonies, lengthy oratorios, etc., and demonstrating that "small is beautiful"

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • It is not necessary to be able to read music, nor to sing or play a musical instrument - however, if anyone wants to volunteer ....!

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

  • evaluate the way in which composers have used varying combination of instruments
  • demonstrate the development of various musical styles throughout the centuries
  • show awareness of the composition of several lesser-known 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 introduced and then heard either on recording or in a 'live' performance followed by opportunity for discussion and further learning

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

Download full course information sheet

French Musical miniatures

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


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

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