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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2006 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2006 The Great Courses
Prof. Greenberg is an educator par excellence, able to inspire in his student an awe and love for this art form for which he is so passionate about. I highly, highly recommend this course.
This survey course whets the appetite for more. A great starting point for anyone who wants to enjoy the greats but isn't sure where to begin, "How to Listen and Understand Great Music" leaves one with a budding understanding of composers, periods, and pieces and a desire to explore further.
I especially appreciated the history portions which gave a contextual background for understanding the composers and their works.
Robert Greenberg made the content appealling and approachable I will be listening to more courses from him in the future
For clarity...In section 4 (Chapter 3). The Roman Catholic Church was not established until the Great Schism in 1054 when they broke away from the First True Church (The Orthodox Church). There should be clarity and credit given to the Orthodox Church.
Excellent narattor and extremely informative piece for anyone who is onterested in the history of music untill the 20th century. You'll learn a few music termonology on the way as well.
I know next to nothing about classical music. Prof. Greenberg tells the story in a very engaging way. It is very informative and fun. No, I did not understand everything. But it is worlds apart listening to some music you know nothing about and listening to music which someone guides you through. It actually made me to start listening classical music.
This was the best audible book I ever listened to. It's one of those books I plan to listen to again. I feel like it made me a better person. I can't say enough about it and have been sending the link to this to all my friends. Everyone I know has had the same reaction.
Great Courses, yes. Professor Greenberg, no.
The early chapters spent far too much time on very minor issues on music that didn't help one iota in learning different genres of music. When Professor started covering Pythagoras and his geometric theorem on a note I thought I'd run off the road out of boredom.
Give an overview in the beginning of what you intend to cover; tackle each major genre of music and don't worry about presenting a historical chronological story of how a note started to the 16 or so different pieces of a Mass. This reader wanted to learn about each genre of music, i.e. how to identify them and appreciate them. I didn't want to understand the history of how music started at a doctorate level.
Most of it.
I'd scrap it and start over.
"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.
"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.
"An absolute triumph!"
Words can't express how much I've enjoyed this course. Professor Green berg's enthusiasm for music is infectious.
"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.
"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!
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.
"Only 1 chapter in and I'm adding a review!"
I've only listened to 1 chapter so far and yet feel a desire to add a review already. The speaker is passionate, engaging and humorous. The content exciting and thought provoking.
Whether my review will stay the same after the next 47 chapters I don't know. I haven't listened to audio books on music before and so this was a risk. One that I'm glad I took!
"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
"A fascinating journey in good company"
An excellent survey of Western Music up to the early 20th Century - stopping short with Schoenberg - with a good blend of historical/cultural context and technical developments in music
Report Inappropriate Content