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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
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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 02-26-14
    Masoomeh 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
  •  
    Kathleen 01-31-14
    Kathleen 01-31-14 Member Since 2008
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    1
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    "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
  •  
    Amazon Customer Santiago Chile 01-29-14
    Amazon Customer 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
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    3
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    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
  •  
    Paul Stockbridge, GA, United States 09-28-13
    Paul Stockbridge, GA, United States 09-28-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Very worthwhile."
    What did you love best about How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition?

    Well structured, fun to listen to.


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

    Yes. I have listen to four so far and am about to start a fifth.


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

    Too much to digest to listen to in one sitting. A lecture or two per day gives time to chew on the details. (And download some of the works discussed.)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Ravinder Bhalla Passaic, NJ United States 09-26-13
    Dr. Ravinder Bhalla Passaic, NJ United States 09-26-13 Member Since 2001
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    "A wonderful review of music"
    Where does How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Ranks among the top 5 percent of audio books I read so far.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Spoken with humor and wit providing an encyclopedia of knowledge of English music of 16th to 20th century.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Explanation of iconic musical pieces as they are playing.


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

    Music of Centuries explained


    Any additional comments?

    Fun way to learn music fundamentals and enjoy music

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    augustine 08-15-13
    augustine 08-15-13
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    "Professor Greenberg needs to tone it down."

    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.

    5 of 13 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 1 people found this review helpful
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