Johann Sebastian Bach - His life, times and music

Ref: C3675955

This course will examine the extraordinary musical career of J.S. Bach, associated with his earliest musical efforts at Eisenach, and the variety of musical posts which he subsequently held as an organist or musician. Contrary to most people`s understanding, consideration will be also given as to why he was thought more highly of by his contemporaries, as a performer rather than a composer. Indeed his compositions largely remained in manuscript for a century after his death. In order to understand J.S. Bach`s Baroque musical style more fully , the elements bound within music ,and the characteristics of Baroque musical style will also be explained and discussed.

Course aim

This course will help students to understand more about the life, times and music of the Baroque composer J.S.Bach [1685-1750 ] linked with learning more about the amazing variety of his prolific musical compositions.

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:

  • Be able to identify the basic elements bound within music
  • Be able to briefly describe J.S, Bach`s life circumstances and contemporary times.
  • Be able to briefly desribe Baroque musical style.
  • Have a brief recall of several of J.S.Bach`s compositions.
  • Be encouraged to listen to more music composed by J.S.Bach e.g at local concerts , on radio3 , classic FM etc.

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support 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
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • 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

Johann Sebastian Bach - His life, times and 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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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