Strange meetings: words, music and the First World War

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The First World War destroyed old orders and redrew the maps of Europe, not just in political terms, but through the works of artists caught up the cataclysm. This course examines some of the extraordinary cultural encounters brought about by wartime. Conflicts and reconciliations of nationality, class, ideology and aesthetic will be explored through the prism of that most mysterious 'meeting' – the fusion of words and music.

Course programme

Friday 27 June 2014

Please plan to arrive between 16:30 and 18:30. You can meet other course members in the bar which opens at 18:15. Tea and coffee making facilities are available in the study bedrooms.

19:00 Dinner
20:30 – 22:00 Strange Meeting: Wilfrid Owen, Benjamin Britten and the healing power of the eclectic.
22:00 Terrace bar open for informal discussion

Saturday 28 June 2014

08:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 10:30 Entente cordiale vs. Bach, Beethoven and Brahms: The conflicting sources of English musical identity
10:30 Coffee
11:00 – 12:30 Ivor Gurney: Severn and Somme: The landscapes of Gloucestershire and France meet and merge in Gurney’s extraordinary poetry of place.
12.30 Free
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Free
16:00 Tea
16:30 – 18:00 Denis Browne: Guest speaker, Nick Peacey talks about his great uncle, who befriended Rupert Brooke at Rugby and studied music in Cambridge and Berlin.
19:00 Dinner
20:30 – 22:00 Words and Music: All participants are invited to share and discuss a personal selection of music and writing connected to the First World War.
22:00 Terrace bar open for informal discussion

Sunday 29 June 2014

08:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 10:30 Do not forget me quite: the musical war poets
10:30 Coffee
11:00 12:30 For the Fallen: Friendship, Loss and Remembrance
12.30 Free
12:45 Lunch

The course will disperse after lunch.


pdf Application form

pdf Welcome to Madingley

pdf Syllabus and reading resource list


Unless otherwise stated, teaching and assessment for ICE courses are in English. Students whose first language is not English should refer to the Competence in the English Language Policy for further guidance.

Printable versions of our brochures are available to download from the Institute Publications page.

Pre-enrolment information

Information about studying with ICE

Register interest

To register your interest in this course please contact us:

Write to us

Admissions Team
Madingley Hall
United Kingdom
CB23 8AQ

Call us

01223 746262

Email us

Course details

Start date

27 June 2014 (19:00)

End date

29 June 2014 (14:00)

Course code



1 weekend


Institute of Continuing Education
University of Cambridge
Madingley Hall, Madingley
United Kingdom
CB23 8AQ

Accommodation fees

Single room: £110
Double/Twin room (per person, 2 people sharing): £90

Qualifications / Credits