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image for Music item typeThe History of Popular Music: From Pogroms to Punk at Woodend Creative Workspace

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Music, from 14 Jan 2020, £76

Woodend Creative

Woodend Creative

Woodend Creative


One could almost say that 'pop' music came from Russia with love, as the Russian Jews, fleeing persecution, emigrated to America, bringing with them a musical tradition that was steeped in history.

After a while, these immigrants heard Italian opera for the first time, along with the distinctive, melodic folk tunes of Ireland and Scotland and the gospel music of the Negroes as they all came to reside, cheek-by-jowl in the Lower East side of New York.

It wouldn't be long before a hybrid of all of these national musical traditions would emerge. That was 'pop' music. We are going to study how these differing strands of musical traditions from a range of nations and cultures were woven together to result in what we now recognize as 'pop' music.

Seven weeks of study and appreciation of the art of George Gershwin, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Louis Armstrong, Brian Wilson, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin amongst others.

Course aim
A study and appreciation of 'popular' music from its earliest days to the 1960s. Jewish immigrants fleeing Russia mixed with Italians, Irish and Negroes in New York, USA around 1900. Such a vibrant mix of cultures was bound to yield something new!

Do I need any particular skills or experience?
No skills or experience needed

This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
This course is only for those with good listening skills.

By the end of the course I should be able to:
Define the term 'musical genre'.
Explain how the musics of different cultures influenced each other.
Describe the importance of technology in 'pop' music (amplification, radio, electronic recording, television & video).
Show appreciation that, until the advent of recorded music becoming widely available, sheet-music sales made up the sales 'charts' or 'hit parade'.
Demonstrate an understanding of some music theory.

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 consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?
Please bring notepaper and a pen. I will provide some hand-outs.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources
No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?
Progress to another WEA course
The second part of this course, beginning in the 1960s, begins after this one finishes.

Coach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (with charge)Disabled toiletsEnglish Heritage PropertyEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic siteAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Event details

Dates Times
Tue 14 Jan 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 21 Jan 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 28 Jan 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 4 Feb 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 11 Feb 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 18 Feb 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 25 Feb 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 3 Mar 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 10 Mar 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 17 Mar 2020 19:00 to 21:00
Tue 24 Mar 2020 19:00 to 21:00
There will be a half term break.


Course fees apply.
Those in receipt of certain benefits can attend free of charge.


Workers Education Association


The Crescent,
North Yorkshire,
YO11 2PW



See location of Woodend Creative Workspace on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TA 040882  Lat: 54.27887 Long: -0.40419

By Road:
Woodend Creative Workspace is less than five minutes walk from Scarborough station. Regular rail links service easy access to and from York, Middlesbrough, Hull, Manchester and Leeds with London only 3 hours and 25 minutes away. Enjoying a town centre location Woodend is also very near the town's park and ride system. Woodend is very close to the main shopping area and a short walk along the Valley Road connects to the beach and waterfront. Scarborough Art Gallery, the Rotunda Museum and the Spa complex are within easy reach.

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Scarborough station


  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)Credit cards accepted (with charge)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • English Heritage PropertyEnglish Heritage Property
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality