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
Ranks among the top 5 percent of audio books I read so far.
Spoken with humor and wit providing an encyclopedia of knowledge of English music of 16th to 20th century.
Explanation of iconic musical pieces as they are playing.
Music of Centuries explained
Fun way to learn music fundamentals and enjoy music
A new transplant to Long Island, NY that enjoys techno thrillers, apocalyptic, and epic stories. I used to fly through books during my hour commute--but now, I'm in the car about a quarter of that time :(
I went into this one really hoping to learn more about great pieces of music -- and I did, but the professor's energy and voice gets to be grating after hour 6 or so. I don't know how anyone can sit through 30 more... I certainly couldn't.
The content of the course is quite good; however Prof. Greenberg's delivery is absurdly melodramatic. This is supposed to be a college lecture series: he should have delivered the content like an interesting, engaging college lecturer not like an excited fan. If you can get over his delivery (use the preview), you'll likely enjoy this course.
The information presented provides for a good general survey with sufficient depth to give one the knowledge to listen intelligently to great music.
Unfortunately, Professor Greenberg tries too hard to be funny. This is OK at first, but after about the 15th lecture it begins to wear thin. This series would have been so much better with a less "in your face" attempt at humor. Professor Greenberg needs to tone it down quite a bit.
I was going to download the more in depth lectures that give further insights into musical styles and composers, but in all honesty, I don't think I could take anymore of Professor Greenberg's artificial attempts at stand up comedy.
In conclusion, with less schtick, this would have been an outstanding general survey course.
I would recommend this book to some of my friends, the most obvious option should be to those that knows nothing about music history and, of course, wants to listen from a different and more informed point of view. By the other hand, i would recommend it to those who are musicologists because it is overcrowded with those points that we learn to problematize and question ourselves. I would not recommend it to someone who is in the middle of educating himself in the study of music because it can really create some misleading conceptions about music.
It seems to be based on some old books dating back to the 1960's or so, the most of them being now out-of-date.
This was the first time i have ever hear about the existence of Pr. Robert Greenberg.
For me it was 'worthy of my precious time'; it made me think about the problematic issues about historicity in music that i usually never found in modern day texts.
"A treat for ears and heart"
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.
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.
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.
I might want to but at 48 lectures it is simply too long! Also, pauses are highly recommended to reflect on the various topics.
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!
"Very good informative and a good listen"
There is so much information to absorb and so many insights I will be listening over and over
so much insight learned a lot
I have two of his others and this one compares very well
"Outstanding Lecture Programme"
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.
Getting to understand the context in which great composers lived and worked.
Not yet, but I certainly will be!
The Greatest Lecture Programme ever!
A big, big thank you to Robert Greenberg for taking the trouble to share his tremendous knowledge and experience with me in this way!
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