How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition Audiobook | The Great Courses | Audible.com
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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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  •  
    Regina CHICAGO, IL, United States 03-19-14
    Regina CHICAGO, IL, United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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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
  •  
    Mary ANN ARBOR, MI, United States 02-27-14
    Mary ANN ARBOR, MI, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    139
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "narrator was horrible, interfered w/story"
    What would have made How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition better?

    A different narrator


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Not with this narrator


    How could the performance have been better?

    His attempt at humor was condescending and distracted me from concentrating on what he was saying


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger, as I was interested in 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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    18
    2
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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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    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Kathleen Akron, OH, United States 01-31-14
    Kathleen Akron, OH, United States 01-31-14 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "Not a lecture, a performance"
    What made the experience of listening to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition the most enjoyable?

    Music history is one of the fields of knowledge which I have never had any exposure to. (Shame on the public school system!) I was afraid it would be dry and inaccessible, but this has been a very fun listen and I will listen to more of the same.


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

    When I got so lost in the lecture that I had to slam on the brakes to avoid committing a major traffic violation while driving.


    What does Professor Robert Greenberg bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Somewhere in the middle of this course I realized that Professor Robert Greenberg wasn't lecturing, he was performing. He has a knack for knowing just when the material is getting dry and taking funny little detours to wake up your mind again.


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

    There are laugh out loud moments in these lectures.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Manuel De La Lastra Santiago Chile 01-29-14
    Manuel De La Lastra Santiago Chile 01-29-14 Member Since 2011

    Theos

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    "Best music course I've ever had"
    If you could sum up How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Wonderful


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Many examples are so clear and makes us really feel what the author tried to express


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo Austin, TX, United States 12-22-13
    Ricardo Austin, TX, United States 12-22-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Through, comprehensive and entertaining"
    If you could sum up How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Professor Greenberg is generously passionate about the topic and delivers it with great skill and story telling skills.


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

    When his verbal explanations and excitement for the the music gets the listener primed to hear a great piece of music. And when the music starts playing, and all words melt into the beauty of the sound.


    What about Professor Robert Greenberg’s performance did you like?

    He is a great professor.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dielle ALEDO, TX, United States 12-06-13
    Dielle ALEDO, TX, United States 12-06-13 Member Since 2009
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    64
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    "The bar has been raised"

    I am in love with Professor Greenberg. I wish I had attended even one lecture in college as interesting, entertaining, and informative as this. And I want more. The others that I had hoped were similar just did not measure up. His wit mixed with his passion for his subject was wonderful. Now I'm going to add all his lectures to my wish list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Myers Beautiful Taos, NM 11-15-13
    Mark Myers Beautiful Taos, NM 11-15-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 26 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • S. Mercer
    Hamphsire, UK
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A treat for ears and heart"
    Would you consider the audio edition of How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition to be better than the print version?

    Yes, although this is quite a loaded question. When talking about music the ability to listen to the actual pieces being discussed is infinitely better than reading about what the notes sound like.


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

    Hearing Guillaume de Machaut's "Quant en moy" from the 14th century - it captivated me almost instantly and Greenberg's wonderful way of explaining it made me realise there is so much to music from previous ages I have little or no knowledge about.


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

    Not really applicable as this is no fictional "book". However, Professor Greenberg is the key to the whole course. His enthusiasm for the subject is embedded in every lecture and without him it would simply not work. Perfect mix between detail, humor and lecturing.


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

    I might want to but at 48 lectures it is simply too long! Also, pauses are highly recommended to reflect on the various topics.


    Any additional comments?

    Even though 48 lectures might sound daunting at first, I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about (concert) music. What makes this course work is not just the way it is structured - leading through the history of music from ancient times to the early 20th century - but most of all the enthusiastic lecturer, Robert Greenberg.

    I found it a joy to listed to him and am now actively seeking out composers such as Josquin des Prez or Guillaume de Machaut. Before this course I had never heard of either of them. But also well known pieces become much more "understandable" (Beethoven's 5th, Hayden's symphonies, even Schoenberg!).

    Greenberg follows the simple (sounding) principle that music is a mirror of its time; he uses this guideline to explain music throughout the ages.

    It is not a cheap audiobook but this is where a credit becomes the payment of choice!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    2/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good informative and a good listen"
    Would you listen to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition again? Why?

    There is so much information to absorb and so many insights I will be listening over and over


    What did you like best about this story?

    so much insight learned a lot


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

    I have two of his others and this one compares very well


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. L. Howell
    UK
    1/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding Lecture Programme"
    Would you listen to How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition again? Why?

    Truly fantastic! I have just finished to this series of lectures (almost in one sitting - that how good the course was). Professor Greenberg is incredibly knowledgeable, as you would expect, but also hugely engaging. The structure of the lectures was absolutely right for me - without treating the audience as novices, Prof Greenberg manages to tell you all the stuff that you might not know, with subtlety, as well as all the stuff that you really want to know. The production is very polished without being too obviously so. I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about concert music and understand it better - it certainly worked for me. I shall be investing in many more of Professor Greenberg's courses.


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

    Getting to understand the context in which great composers lived and worked.


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

    Not yet, but I certainly will be!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Greatest Lecture Programme ever!


    Any additional comments?

    A big, big thank you to Robert Greenberg for taking the trouble to share his tremendous knowledge and experience with me in this way!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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