An introduction to music theory Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts

An introduction to music theory

Gain an understanding of the basic building blocks of musical theory and notation. This free course, An introduction to music theory, will introduce you to music staves, clefs, rhythmic and pitch values, rhythmic metre and time signatures. This OpenLearn course provides an introduction to music theory pitched at a level equivalent to Grades 1–3 of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory exams. You can test your understanding as you proceed by completing simple multiple-choice questions.

Free course
8 hrs
Hitler's rise and fall: Timeline Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Walter Frentz Archive article icon

History & The Arts

Hitler's rise and fall: Timeline

Track the key events in Hitler's life, from his childhood in Austria to his suicide in the bunker in Berlin.

Article
Start writing fiction Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts

Start writing fiction

Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.

Free course
12 hrs
The People on the Notes: Elizabeth Fry article icon

History & The Arts 

The People on the Notes: Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry, sometimes known as 'the angel of prisons', was depicted on the £5 note for over a decade - only recently being replaced by Winston Churchill. Here's what we know about her:

Article
A quiet man, hounded: One person's experience of the UK's anti-homosexuality laws Creative commons image Icon Helen Wells under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license article icon

History & The Arts 

A quiet man, hounded: One person's experience of the UK's anti-homosexuality laws

Trevor Thomas built a reputation in Leicester - before British attidues to his sexuality nearly destroyed his life.

Article
Icarus: entering the world of myth Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © EC Hellex/iStockphoto.com free course icon Level 2 icon

History & The Arts 

Icarus: entering the world of myth

This free course, Icarus: entering the world of myth, will introduce you to one of the best-known myths from classical antiquity and its various re-tellings in later periods. You will begin by examining how the Icarus story connects with a number of other ancient myths, such as that of Theseus and the Minotaur. You will then be guided through an in-depth reading of Icarus’ story as told by the Roman poet Ovid, one of the most important and sophisticated figures in the history of ancient myth-making. After this you will study the way in which Ovid’s Icarus myth has been reworked and transformed by later poets and painters.

Free course
3 hrs
If a pig gives you a new liver, do you give the pig rights? Creative commons image Icon Liquid emulsion under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license article icon

History & The Arts 

If a pig gives you a new liver, do you give the pig rights?

Science is pushing ahead developing human-animal chimera creatures. Ethicists need to keep up to be ready for them, says Joshua Shepherd.

Article
The debate on the origins of the First World War Creative commons image Icon By Edward N. Jackson (US Army Signal Corps) (U.S. Signal Corps photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative-Commons license article icon

History & The Arts 

The debate on the origins of the First World War

The way historians have viewed the causes of WWI has changed in the hundred years since war broke out.

Article
The Somme: The German perspective Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

History & The Arts 

The Somme: The German perspective

How do Germans view the Battle of The Somme?

Article
Death on the eve of Armistice Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC audio icon

History & The Arts 

Death on the eve of Armistice

Flu and a last gasp of fighting claimed lives even as the First World War was coming to a close. Michael Palin spoke to two experts to find out why.

Audio
10 mins