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
I greatly enjoyed this course but my only complaint is that when the music played or when he played the piano the soundquality was awful, especially in the bass. It just wobbled constantly in a very strange way when it clearly shouldnt have.
This is course is very well put-together and presented superbly.
The history and biography of composers.
Entertaining! His analogies are spot-on.
Not applicable. This is a 48 hour course.
This course is a masterpiece. I will listen to more of Prof. Greenberg's courses.
This is exactly what I was looking for. I took some music appreciation classes in school and was looking for something to refresh my memory and provide a good historical and technical overview of the development and components of this music. Prof. Greenberg does a great job bringing the stories and historical perspective of musical styles and composer's lives to life with his enthusiastic, sometimes a little goofy, presentation style. I was also looking to gain a greater understanding of the components and structures of specific forms of music and that's all here, all illustrated with musical passages played for the listener, often with Greenberg narrating along to indicate what is going on. I really enjoyed this one.
As someone with no music background, I am very pleased with the lecture. Although it would be nice if I have the printed guide or summary while listening so I can go back to some chapters that I needed to listen again.. I am planning to listen again, although I bought several of the other lectures... I am a slow to grasp the lectures but I guess If I listen to it again and again, maybe it will help...
This course is fantastic for anyone interested in great music on any level. Professor Greenberg takes you on a journey that feels like you're actually there and makes it fun with laughs and surprises along the way. I found myself going back and reviewing several portions a second and third time without annoyance because the stories are enjoyable over again.
(This field requires I write 15 words or 25 characters, but I don't have an answer to the question. This is a nonfiction book, and most of my friends like fiction.)
(This field requires I write 15 words or 25 characters, but I don't have an answer to the question.)
(This field requires I write 15 words or 25 characters, but I don't have an answer to the question. This is a nonfiction book.)
(This field requires I write 15 words or 25 characters, but I don't have an answer to the question.)
His lecture provides a basic understanding of Western "classical" music (he prefers the term "concert" music), along with a heavy dose of Prof. Greenberg's personal preferences. Nonetheless, his lecture style may appeal to some and turn off others -- like a heavy spiced curry, you're likely to either love it or hate it. For example, he says "my friends" when introducing new points in his lectures. This happens a lot.
Prof. Greenberg's lecture style wears a little thin if you batch-listen to the lectures -- they are better spaced out. Like my art history teachers in school, his explanation of history not within his field of expertise is oversimplified to the point of being misleading -- if you studied Western history in some detail, you may find some of his somewhat old-fashioned understanding of change in European history a turn-off. This is most egregious in his first lecture, where he discounts all music in the non-Western tradition as unworthy of study because it did not change -- an assertion that would shock scholars of, say, Chinese operatic traditions, just to name one. But most folks will probably be fine with it, and you know who you are in either case.
One problem is that the course materials are not included with the purchase. Prof. Greenberg refers to these in passing several times, and it would be extremely helpful to have a copy handy for reference. It took all my creative googling skills to find the name of a medieval French song (it turned out to be written "Quant en moy" by the prolific Guillame de Marchaut) with only a knowledge of modern French to guide me (I had imagined "Contes en noir" in my head from only hearing it said briefly, so this took some time!). Having the course materials available would have made such searches much easier in tracking down recordings.
Professor Greenberg's lectures cover an incredible scope and make the history of Western music comprehensible. I learned an enormous amount and understood concepts e.g. 'key' and 'circle of 5ths' that I'd never completely understood before. Prof. Greenberg brought the composers to life and introduced me to many I barely knew and I enjoyed the many anecdotes he shared about the personal lives of the great composers.
Professor Greenberg - for his erudition, his passion and his playfulness. I so enjoyed his lectures that I have now purchased another series.
Well, yes - it certainly kept my interest and I looked forward to my daily listening.
Perfect balance of explanation and demonstration. Learned, genial teacher makes difficult ideas accessible. The pieces studied will be "owned" forever by the student.
"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!
"Entertaining and Informative"
I was slightly apprehensive about downloading this course of 48 lectures. Would I be able to complete them all? Would they be too technical for a non-musician? I needn't have worried. Robert Greenberg is a wonderfully entertaining narrator whose enthusiasm for the music he is discussing is infectious and whose humorous asides and witty anecdotes often made me laugh out loud. The course is never boring. It helps one to hear the classics with new ears - for example, I will never be able to hear Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique again without being reminded of Erectile Dysfunction - as well as introducing the listener - well, this listener, at least - to music that would not exactly be top of the concert hall charts (I'm looking at you, Arnold Schoenberg). All in all, thoroughly enjoyable and very informative. I would recommend it to anyone keen to get a greater understanding of great music.
This is one of the most interesting, engaging and compelling listens that I've had.
The mixture of historical context and musical theory together with audible examples.
Greenberg's enthusiasm for his subject together with his humour.
Audible considers the additional course literature as "unnecessary" to listening to the course. I disagree. Certainly the word scores referred to would be invaluable.
"Best introduction into music"
Absolutely. I never appreciated any form of concert music (see I've already leant not to call it classical) before. I was aware of nice melodies i had heard in everyday life; in tv commercials, in the movies etc. I knew it existed, but I never understood it. I can now proudly boast to know a little bit, and it made me seek this type of music out, and enjoy it.
I liked the chronological presentation of the history of music from the simplicity of the early days the the more complex forms that developed over time. Each period is nicely explained and accompanied with significant non-musical historical stories which I knew nothing about. So in a way you also get a bit of a history lesson.
Bach and Mozart
Life-enriching. Thank you.
"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!
"Great for music lovers"
I enjoyed listening to prof Greenberg, funny guy and very smart in his field which makes each chapter interesting.
a well structured course enabled me to keep on top when tackling new genres.
The downside however, having been drilled so hard about JS Bach and never once covered anything of Vivaldi.
"Listen and Learn"
The Professor gave his lectures with humour and made them very enjoyable to listen to
It would depend on the subject - I only knew the popular classics so was intrigued to learn more
Not a story as such although the story of the progression of music through the ages was the key (please pardon the pun) part of these lectures
I was continually frustrated by the snippets of music used as illustrations and usually wanted to hear more. I now have the task of tracking down some of the pieces to hear them in full
I was amazed to find how much I needed to know about music and am very pleased that I listened to this series of lectures
"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
"indepth and thorough"
Definitely learnt a lot from this. Good use of examples and balance between talk and music
he can be a bit annoying at times and his humour is like Chrismas cracker jokes
I knew nothing about music and this was most in-depth and interesting.
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