What is the course about?
When the Second World War first broke out, most major cultural organisations closed down for fear of large gatherings making all-too-perfect targets for the enemy. But despite the many difficulties ‘explosive and financial’, as Myra Hess so delightfully put it, London was to enjoy a rich musical scene during the War, across many different genres.
What will we cover?
- The initial impact of war being announced: what was closed or moved elsewhere
- The establishment of the National Gallery concerts by Myra Hess, Howard Ferguson and Kenneth Clark
- Patriotic music: bands, radio concerts and wartime songs
- Dance halls and jazz
- The continuation of the Proms, and the move from the Queen’s Hall to the Royal Albert Hall.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- List the basic timeline of major events around public spaces closing, and new musical series opening in London during the War
- Compare and contrast the different strands of musical events and their audiences
- List some of the key figures responsible for continuing music-making in the capital
- Summarise the variety of musical events on offer.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge of the subject is required. You do not need to read music to take this course (although we might look at music notation for time-to-time). You will be asked to do some reading in class and between sessions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts, powerpoint slides or writing on a whiteboard
Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples
Class discussion and debate
Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled further online resources will be recommended.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen.
You may wish to buy some of the music or books recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post Music history: your guide to the 2019/20 programme which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details