Regular price: $59.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,395
  • 4 Stars
    241
  • 3 Stars
    68
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    24

Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,360
  • 4 Stars
    156
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,246
  • 4 Stars
    222
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    14
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic

Robert Greenberg— best lecturer of any music course, and possibly any course, I’ve ever experienced.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Bravo Professor!

This course was deeply informative, lively, and comprehensive. The instructor is eminently knowledgeable as well as entertaining. I will listen to any of his courses with pleasure. What a gift!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

great entertainment

the best thing is the narrator. m m m m m m m m m mms

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good for Beginners

This is a great book for the begining the understanding of music. This book is a fast read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Overview of a Challenging Topic

An excellent course to gain a framework to discuss concert/"classical" music. The lecturer is also a fun guy. I definitely recommend this to anyone wanting an entry point to the intimidating world of Western musical culture.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Really excellent

If you have an interested in learning about classical music, or just an interest in getting interested, these lectures are perfect for you. This is a great introduction, and it gave me a much better appreciation for great music.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Long Slog, But Totally Worth It

It took quite a while to get through this series, but it was definitely worth it. I now understand and can recognize various classical music when I hear it. Not only that, but I am seeking it out more, and I know what I like. Professor Greenberg knows his stuff. He did a great job keeping his lectures interesting and understandable. I strongly recommend this series of lectures.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Martin W
  • Overland Park, KS, United States
  • 10-23-17

Magnificent!

Dr. Greenberg is very entertaining but he is also very clear and precise. This is no music appreciation pep talk. These lectures are very informative and have inspired me to get into listening to classical music — pardon me — to concert music much more heavily.

Knowing something about what I'm hearing helps me experience it more deeply.

Professor Greenberg very generously shares his passion, humor, insight and vast knowledge. I say generously because he obviously put a lot of hard work into these lectures.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Maybe I just don't like the subject

The lecturer Robert Greenberg was excellent. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job with the subject material. (I took off one star from Performance only because I thought the musical excerpts were too low volume compared to his voice, I was forever turning up and down the volume)
But - the 48 lectures were just not compelling, I think this must be the nature of the material. The more I learn about it, instead of everything coming clear, it often becomes more convoluded, with different musical forms, and other elements. Although he seemed to teach it, and give a lot of examples, I somehow am no better now at identifying the period or composer or country origin of a piece of music from when I started. I did learn some things, but those are mostly music history, rather than improving my listening. Maybe expectations were too high, and it really takes years of practice to train your ear to listen critically.

Anyway because I feel like I didn't learn that much, and the listen was not super-enjoyable, it gets 3 stars, despite the excellent lecturer.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A virtuoso performance

And I'm not talking about the musicians. Professor Greenberg is a master. He is funny, engaging, opinionated, knowledgeable, and entertaining.

I will freely admit, I originally got this because there was a one-day special, and I decided to give it a shot. What a great decision.

I've long enjoyed classical music (I use the term in the broadest sense, and not (as listeners will learn) to refer solely to music of the Classical Era). My library is filled with Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and many, many more. And I truly delight in listening to them.

But until this course, I never realised how much of what was going on in the music was completely passing me by. For a simple example, I'll never be able to hear the fourth movement of Beethoven's Second Symphony in quite the same way again. ;-)

Professor Greenberg starts all the way back with Mediæval plainchants (what are commonly (but incorrectly) called Gregorian chants). He takes us through the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Classical, the Romantic, and into the 20th century.

I truly loved how he takes exemplars of the instrumental and vocal works of each age and shows us what is going on. For example, he spends a great deal of time (two lectures, if I recall correctly) looking at Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Now I've always enjoyed the Fifth, but I had no idea there were so many ideas being expressed in it. I will never hear it the same way, and I am improved thereby. Not only does Professor Greenberg explain what is happening musically (i.e. this is a movement in sonata form (aaba'ba')) but he also gives a historical perspective. That is, what did the first audience to hear the Fifth think? How did it fit their expectations, and where did it blow their minds?

He's done the same thing, over and over, with other composers, other styles, other forms. Now, I am no longer able to just listen to the music. Instead, I am hearing all the things the composer was trying to say, and it makes the music even better.

I loved this course so much that I've added another dozen by him to my wishlist. My only objection is, despite his assurances to the contrary, I still don't care for, or appreciate, opera, and wish he'd not spent so much time on it. But I understand that you can't cover the great music of the past without going into it in detail, so I accept that it's important, regardless of my feelings. :-)

So if you enjoy classical music, but feel that you are missing out, let me just say, "Yes, you are!" Get this course, and miss out on a bit less. Enjoy!