Branch Event: Six of the Best Plus One: Satie and Les Six

Ref: C3744346

The French composers of the group known as ‘Les Six’ in many ways typify European music immediately following World War 1. Coined in 1920, the title was designed as a nod in the direction of "The Five", who comprised Russia’s so-called Mighty Handful. Yet there was no true shared aesthetic among these six highly individual composers, other than the inspiration they all gained from the brilliantly imaginative works of the wildly eccentric Erik Satie. We will hear examples from the best-known figures, Poulenc and Milhaud, but also from the other three male composers, and the one female – the remarkable Germaine Tailleferre.

Course aim

This course will be an opportunity to examine the works of six highly original and talented composers who all appeared at around the same time in French music, and who were all inspired by the eccentric genius of Erik Satie.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Recognise the individual qualities of each of the composers
  • Understand their special contribution to French and European music.
  • Place them in the context of the music and art of the first half of the 20th century.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • 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 is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Any advance listening to examples of the music of the composers of Les Six, or Satie, would be useful and beneficial.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Branch Event: Six of the Best Plus One: Satie and Les Six

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This course has been cancelled.


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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