How Does Music Work?

Ref: C2342601

Join us on an exhilarating journey around the building-blocks of a piece of music, and how they all fit together. What are keys and what do they do? What is harmony and how is it used? Is rhythm the most basic building-block of all? What can you do with a tune when you've got one? What is counterpoint? Is dissonance a bad thing? What happens to words when you add music? How can music paint a picture or tell a story? Why does music need formal structures? We will listen to a wide range of music – come and refresh your love for old favourites, and discover some new ones!

Course aim

What are keys for? How do harmony and rhythm work? How can music tell a story? Come and explore some of the building-blocks of music, and make your enjoyment of listening even more meaningful.

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 three fundamental building-blocks of music.
  • Describe how harmony, rhythm and counterpoint function in two of the music extracts listened to during the course.
  • Describe how two different composers have used melody of dissonance in two of the music extracts listened to during the course.
  • Describe how two different composers have treated words in a vocal piece, or aimed to tell a story or paint a picture in two of the music extracts listened to during the course.

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 in the handouts for the first 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

Download full course information sheet

How Does Music Work?

Enrolment Conditions

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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