This lecture series focuses on the very best of Western music, and as we progress through these lectures, the following are two important questions that we will seek to answer as we examine the various musical selections: What makes these works masterpieces? Why highlight these works?
In addition, the course highlights relevant details of the lives of the great composers and aids in developing a knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Western music.
©2004 Jeffery D. Lependorf; (P)2004 Recorded Books
There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin
Listening to the lectures gave me so much pleasure. Prof. Lependorf teaches the listener to understand the music and create a mental map of the passages. Personally, it was like learning a new language in an insightful way. I'd say the lectures helped to develop my sensitivity.
You can download the accompanying guide and figure out what the lectures are about. In short, they cover the following musicians and their masterpieces:
A.Vivaldi 'The Spring' (Movement I), J.S.Bach 'Brandenburg Concerto No. 5' (Movement I), G.F.Handel 'The Messiah' (“Ev’ry Valley”, “All We Like Sheep”, “Hallelujah”), W.A.Mozart 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik' (Movement I), L. van Beethoven 'Symphony No. 5' (Movement I), H.Berlioz 'Symphonie Fantastique', F.Chopin 'Nocturnes' (Vol. 1, Nocturne in Db, Op. 27, No. 2), J.Brahms 'Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Händel' (Variations I, II, III, V, VI, Fugue), R.Wagner 'Prelude to Tristan', M.Mussorgsky 'Pictures at an Exhibition' ('Promenade', 'The Gnome', 'Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks', 'Great Gate of Kiev'), C.Debussy 'Prelude to The Afternoon of the Faun', I.Stravinsky 'The Rite of Spring' (Pt. 1), M.Ravel 'Mother Goose Suite', A.Copland 'Appalachian Spring Suite'.
Prof. Lependorf introduces such notions as tonic, ritornello, tutti, continuo, terraced dynamics, concerto grosso, pedal point, cadenza, oratorio, melisma, serenade, sonata-allegro, adagio, col legno, bel canto, arpeggio, da capo aria, tempo rubato, appoggiatura, hemiola, rounded binary, canon, cross-rhythm, two-against-three, leitmotiv, tremolo, ostinato, whole-tone scale, pentatonic scale, mode, gamelan, glissando, and syncopation, to name a few.
The lectures expanded my musical experience. I'll certainly listen to them again.
I recommend this book to everyone! It is complex enough for those who know music and simple enough for beginners.
The sound quality of the musical examples is not the best, but you should buy and listen to the complete recordings of the pieces after the lecture anyway, if you don't already have them.
Also, Prof. Lependorf is not a professional voice artist, that is clear. However, his love and enthusiasm for the subject shines through and his delivery is very relaxed and friendly. Prof. Lependorf gave new depth to pieces that I thought I knew well, and turned me on to others that I had neglected for one reason or another.
These are fascinating lectures that include both the technical music theory behind the pieces, as well as the human stories of the people that created them and just enough audio examples to demonstrate his points while enticing us to seek out the full recordings to hear more.
I was educated into oblivion but have overcome and am having a wonderful life
I haven't seen the print edition.
It would be nice to see the print edition after having listened to this audio version. I want to use some of the examples in teaching and it would be great to have a print version to go back to rather than have to find all the spots that I was listening to and thinking "oh yeah, I need to point that out".
loved the way he described the appoggiatura.. and so many other things.. pedal point leading to a key change... yes, so many things
Nice bird's eye view.
Leaning into the music: the appoggiatura made simple
I'd like to hear more. Perhaps a series of audible books -- each taking an in-depth look at a specific style period.
There were a number of times when the excerpt he played did not line up with the commentary. I don't know if this was a matter of post-production, or if he made these errors himself, but it made the commentary confusing.
I am a musician who bought this book to share it with a non-musician wife. I found a lot of his commentary quite useful, in that he picked out things to highlight that gave a good understanding of the material, some even new to me, but I get the sense from my wife's comments that she didn't get as much out of the lectures as I had hoped. I think this is an excellent series for people with some musical literacy, but there are some assumptions that leave the non-musician behind.
I wanted to like this but after the first couple of lectures, I tired of the pedantic lecturer droning on about the music theory of each piece. Do you know what a tonic is? What a dominant is or a motive? How about a cadence or a key? I will say that my lack of background sent me to the internet where I learned a lot more about music which I do want to learn more about. But this series of rather dry lectures did not really teach me very much. I could barely hang on till the end and definitely cut some of the worst ones short. And the sound track was very poor so even when the music played, it was not really great listening.
The caliber of all the Modern Scholar lectures have been very, very high but this lecture was truly exceptional.
All the satisfying moments when Jeffrey Lependorf nailed the essence of a particular masterpiece and I could understand why it was truly great.
The question is not really applicable, but I loved the background sketches of the great composers. It made it easier to put the masterpieces in context.
No, but in a good way. The lecture is very dense with lots of new (to me) ideas and I needed time for it to sink in. What I do want to do is listen to the lectures again!
For a complete newbie to this subject, this lecture series had to be the most enjoyable and entertaining way to be introduced to Western musical history. The professor demystified a subject that I always thought was very intimidating. I also liked the way the professor introduced musical terms in a simple and easy to understand manner.
"An Introduction to classical music"
a beautiful interesting and fascinating insight and introduction to the world of classical music and its composers
I was looking for a history of music but got much more than that; history, musical appreciation, indeph explanation of the composition and the times etc. very clear, the lecturer is so passionate it's contagios. loved every bit of it. I will listen to some units again. It also has a website.
I am no musician and know nothing about the technicalities of music but I really, really enjoyed and am still enjoying this audio course. More than that, it is encouraging me to listen to a wider range of music.
Well worth spending my credit.
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