Music Appreciation: Music, History and Culture

Ref: C3847036

This course will introduce students to classical music from across its historical eras, from the Early period into the present day. Through listening and reflection we will explore essential aspects of music's historical, cultural and artistic development. To complement this we will hear and consider music from other traditions such as jazz, contemporary and 'world music'. We will engage with a variety of pieces by major and less familiar composers and artists focussing on style, form, history, race/ethnicity, gender, aesthetics, tradition/progress, the background of pieces and the composer's life. Students will learn to listen to and engage with music in a more critical and intellectually informed way. Topics may include Program music, Romanticism, Impressionism, Empfindsamer Stil, Form and the Art Song, Serialism and the avant-garde, transitions in the Baroque and Classical styles, Modernism, literature and visual art in music, classical music in films, film music.

Course aim

To explore, enjoy and more deeply understand the creation, development, performance, and reception of a wide range of classical, non-classical, western and non-western music by considering such issues as period, form, style / aesthetics, and genre.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • Recognise some of the important artistic, social and cultural forces that have shaped classical and other forms of music
  • Critically engage with different styles of music and composers, broadly and specifically
  • Actively explore music through issues such as gender, ethnicity, accessibility, identity, metaphor, nationalism and interdisciplinarity
  • Use a range of skills relating to researching, thinking and writing about music and its artistic, cultural and social contexts
  • Demonstrate confidence to progress to further study in both music appreciation and the fields of musicology and history of music

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This course will be taught online using a combination of Zoom and the WEA's online digital learning platform Canvas, both of which you will need to be able to access through the internet and email. A selection of learning resources will be provided including playlists and listening for each session.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Music Appreciation: Music, History and Culture

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is only available as part of this programme.

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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