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How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition | [The Great Courses]

How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.
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Publisher's Summary

Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives - provided it is understood.

If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge. It's a lecture series that will enable you to first grasp music's forms, techniques, and terms - the grammatical elements that make you fluent in its language - and then use that newfound fluency to finally hear and understand what the greatest composers in history are actually saying to us.

And as you learn the gifts given us by nearly every major composer, you'll come to know there is one we share with each of them - a common humanity that lets us finally understand that these were simply people speaking to us, sharing their passion and wanting desperately to be heard. Using digitally recorded musical passages to illustrate his points, Professor Greenberg will take you inside magnificent compositions by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Verdi, Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and more. Even if you have listened to many of these illustrative pieces throughout your life - as so many of us have - you will never hear them the same way again after experiencing these lectures.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2006 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2006 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Mark Myers Beautiful Taos, NM 11-15-13
    Mark Myers Beautiful Taos, NM 11-15-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Everything I could want in a music course"
    What made the experience of listening to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition the most enjoyable?

    Greenberg is passionate, lively, funny, and always crystal-clear.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition?

    I thought a lot of early music, including plain chant and the madrigal, were not for me. Boy was I wrong!


    Have you listened to any of Professor Robert Greenberg’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Almost every time he plays an excerpt that he's been describing, I'm moved.


    Any additional comments?

    I fell in love with great music rather late in the game, at age 22, without any knowledge. I've always steered clear of explanation and analysis, fearing that intellectualizing music would throw a wet blanket over my enjoyment. I was wrong. These lectures have increased my enjoyment enormously.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eliu Montoya Mariscal Mexico, Mexico Mexico 10-02-13
    Eliu Montoya Mariscal Mexico, Mexico Mexico 10-02-13 Member Since 2012

    DaReader

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    "From hiphop to orchestral music"
    Where does How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have bought and listened about 20 audiobooks so far and without hasitate I can assure this is the best of all.
    I consider myself as a complete music ignorant, though I like it. My previous audibooks where none of them about music nor art appreciation. I'm an engineer and without any prior music education.
    Though this audibook gave the basis to start understanding great music. Gave me the basis to open my own road in music appreciation.
    A phat and big round TEN for Robert Greenberg.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That is exactly what this audibook is: a story!
    Robert Greenberg nailed it from the 1st chapter all along the last one. He explained with great humor, knowledge and humble, the human history and where every piece of music and composer fits. He explained the different ages with great detailed but never pretentious. This is the perfect formula for any person without any prior music knowledge to be involved in this wonderful world.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Robert's sense of humor, intelligent and even sarcastic comments


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The moment I started understanding some Mozart's movements.
    The moment I started to differentiate the inner structure of menuettos, sonatas, passacaglias, fuges, rondos, etc.. I started to realize that this was the perfect audiobook for a guy like me.
    The moment my ipod started to be filled with classical, baroque, romantic music, operas and not just to hear them, but to own them.
    This audiobook really moved me because I am not a passive listener any more, now I understand, now they are not Beethoven's, Mozart's, Debussy's any more, now I'm active, now they are mine.


    Any additional comments?

    I really want to thank Robert Greenberg for this wonderful work. I do not know him personally but I believe he changed me in a deep and aesthetical manner.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donn Patton WA United States 07-28-13
    Donn Patton WA United States 07-28-13

    Donn

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    "A fascinating, entertaining, and informative jour"
    Would you listen to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition again? Why?

    Absolutely, lots of insightful information


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Guillaume de Machaut


    Which character – as performed by Professor Robert Greenberg – was your favorite?

    n/a


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to classical music all my life, but never really had a deep knowledge of its forms or history. This lecture series has given me a much deeper understanding and greatly broadened my musical pallet.

    I especially enjoyed the history of ancient music.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thosigmar PRETORIA, South Africa 07-13-14
    Thosigmar PRETORIA, South Africa 07-13-14 Member Since 2013
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    "A mind-enriching listening experience"
    If you could sum up How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Absolutely. Bloody. Marvellous.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition?

    Too many to single out. There were several moments that I considered "Aha-Erlebnisse", as experienced through Prof Greenberg's insights, naturally.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Robert Greenberg – was your favorite?

    Jes' hisself, of course. The more you listen, the more you appreciate his humour and presentation.He has a genius for offering great insights against a background of light-hearted banter. And his enthusiasm is irresistible.


    Any additional comments?

    I've been a lover of "classical" music and opera all my life, but have had no formal training in music. Can't even read a damn note. In spite of this shortcoming, and regrettably unable to grasp some of the more subtle technical points, I've been able to follow the lectures in broad flow with pure pleasure. Many of his comments are "stunners", and I'm not joking. Just a single example: He remarks, after a glorious explanation of the passacaglia form as used by Bach, that the passacaglia can be regarded as a “metaphor for the invisible hand of God controlling the rich chaos of the everyday”. This just took my breath away (and not that I'm a believer). Old, and feeling depressed? Get this. Even better if you're young and your mind is still fresh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David H. Israel Macon, Georgia 07-10-14
    David H. Israel Macon, Georgia 07-10-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Very Enjoyable"
    Where does How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Professor Greenberg delivers a well produced and enjoyable set of lectures full of information, wit and enjoyment. His ability to interest the mind and to connect the listener with the construct is amazing. I enjoyed every minute.


    What did you like best about this story?

    He made each piece of music come to life and illustrated the teaching objective very well.


    Any additional comments?

    I am better for listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Tingley 05-11-14 Member Since 2012
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    "If you love music this a great listen"
    Any additional comments?

    Bob Greenberg is very entertaining and charismatic. What I especially liked about this book is the biographies of the composers that you get with the music... and the music! There are great music samples throughout. The only reason I knocked a star off is because it does get a little tedious at times. I actually stopped listening for a while and listened to another book, but I did come back and finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael S. Cross gold coast australia 05-06-14
    Michael S. Cross gold coast australia 05-06-14
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    "Excellent information"
    Would you listen to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition again? Why?

    No. The initial listen provided great context and background information. It provided the direction for further education or enlightenment or greater understanding of musical content.


    Any additional comments?

    The presenters language is American colloquial which does grate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina CHICAGO, IL, United States 03-19-14
    Regina CHICAGO, IL, United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Love this course!"
    If you could sum up How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    This course is thorough without being overwhelming. It contains interesting antidotes which give the information personality. The benefit of the audiobook format is being able to listen to the selections of the music being discussed.


    What other book might you compare How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition to and why?

    This is the first "Great Courses" selection that I've made, but this one has piqued my interest in purchasing other Great Courses.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I cannot choose a "favorite" section. There are so many sections that gave me the sense of traveling through time to "witness" the culture and social structure of the period influencing each category of music.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The narrator, Professor Robert Greenberg, is very entertaining. This was important because the course is 33 hours long.


    Any additional comments?

    The only improvement I would suggest is a companion quiz or exam to test how well I've retained all of the information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Masoomeh Lebanon, NJ, United States 02-26-14
    Masoomeh Lebanon, NJ, United States 02-26-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Roberto Monteverde You are fantastic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition to be better than the print version?

    Ahhhh this is fantastic. I can learn as I walk & do other things. I think this audible version specially with the entertaining way that professor Greenberg presents the lectures is the best way to approach this course. It has brought meaning to a world that I could not ever imagine to understand.


    What other book might you compare How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition to and why?

    None. This is unique.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Robert Greenberg’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No But I have purchased his other audible books and can't wait to dive into opera.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Music made easy


    Any additional comments?

    As one of the viewers mentioned, thank you for making this wealth of information affordable for the masses (the enlightenment of masses). I truly wish you would develop and add more material to this section. I find professor Greenberg's style very appealing. His background historical information drives the point home and gives the information a textural depth that would come across very dry in a historical written work. I only wish you could provide supplementary course material as well. I am happy to pay for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Athena Buffalo, NY USA 02-19-14
    Athena Buffalo, NY USA 02-19-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Fabulous - witty and informative"
    What did you love best about How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition?

    The contextualization of music development with social, religious, and political events/


    What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition?

    I would have today ch 31. I will never listen to Beethoven's 5th in the same way!


    Have you listened to any of Professor Robert Greenberg’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    not possible


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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