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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.

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
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Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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Amazing

Robert Greenberg mixed historical references, humor and increasingly longer samples of music to shape my understanding and knowledge of a foreign language (western music). Like all great teachers he has forever changed the way I view the world.

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Upbeat

Greenberg is a crazy man, very dramatic and funny. The focus is on classical music as opposed to popular music and he would likely object to my use of both terms. He introduces the music and composers who moved the art forward. Thus, this course is also a history of music in the context of the history of culture and politics. The series is replete with biographical anecdotes of famous composers which are always entertaining and interesting. The main point is to guide the listener through the mysteries of great music so that you might gain a greater appreciation of how music is put together and its place in history and culture. Although the subject can be dry at times, Greenberg will have you laughing in explosive and unexpected moments in every lecture.

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very enjoyable

I wanted to know how people enjoyed concert music and now I understand and am walking away with an appreciation of music that made little sense to me before.

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Drags in Spots

With all the positive reviews I thought that this would grab my attention for the whole thing. However, in many parts it was slow and the lecturer's bad jokes took away from the content. That being said, this course covers a lot of content and does do a pretty good job with it.

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Great enlightening listen for every music lover

Great lectures and brilliant narrative performance by the author. Good musical examples. Highly recommended listen!

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I couldn't stop listening

The topic of great music was very fascinating for me, and I was not disappointed. It was not tedious at all, even though it is over 30 hours. Professor Greenberg presented the course well and clearly. I cant wait for more - my next will probably be his course on the 30 great orchestral works .

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Professor, Please Don't Shout

The course content was good, as much as I could stand to listen to. The instructor used a theatrical voice, often nearly shouting to emphasize some point. That might have been appropriate for a lecture to an audience of a thousand or more, but for a class of one it just became annoying.

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Exceptional.

It's an amazing course, thorough and complete. The energy and comparisons of the professor are astonishing.
I would like though that he did not repeat so much the same pieces once and again, and that he covered other countries/authors. It's completely focused on Italy and Germany and sometimes France (and Russia at the end). Of course those should be the basis of the course, but more variety wouldn't hurt; besides he misses some key figures only because they are not German/Italian/French.
I have also bought most of the courses by Professor Greenberg, since I am sure I will love them and learn a lot.

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Prof is knowledgeable and hilarious

Started listening when I decided to start playing the cello at age 43. Amazing master class in Western concert music. The prof is a little off the wall, in the best possible way. I plan to listen to more of his Great Courses. This course has music samples, vivid stories about composers, and a journey through time and music. NOTE: It's very white European male centric - that's its primary limitation. He apologizes early on that the course is limited in that way.

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Loved the course

This course is highly educational for even someone who knows zero about music but it is also laugh out loud funny thanks to the professor's incredible sense of humor. I loved it and now have a much greater appreciation for music that will continue to enrich my life greatly!