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How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart (Great Courses) Paperback – April 26, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
It takes you by the hand accross the different eras, analyzing every period, explaining every detail, and decomposing every piece even using musical notation.
It's just a pleasure to read this book, it even turns you into a happy mood.
Obviously, you need to listen to the music he's explaining, and you may either look it up on youtube, or buy/download a CD.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I was looking for a good, not too shallow and not too academic, introduction to western classical music. I wanted to learn to appreciate what I was listening to beyond just the tune and rhythym. Greenberg's course fit the bill quite nicely. Starting with early music Greenberg takes one on a very rewarding journey all the way to the modern composers. The third edition consists of 48 lectures at 45 minutes each for a total of 36 hours. Now some may consider this a tad long but for my purposes it was just great. In fact it took me a good 8 months to finish the course!
Professer Greenberg presents the material with zest and enthusiasm that makes the material easily understandable. An important concept in this course is the idea of 'music as a mirror'. In other words knowing the history, culture, and social norms of the time is ABSOLUTELY essential to understanding and appreciating the works.
The early lectures deal with music basics such as tone, form etc. which was great because for a non-musician like myself it lays the groundwork for later lectures. Some samples of ancient Greek music were quite beautiful.
I found that listening to about two lectures a week was just right to mull the contents over and maybe check out a point or two in any music dictionary. In some cases listening to a piece to corroborate a salient in the lectures helped a great deal.
I am so glad I purchased this set. I thought long and hard before coughing up the bread because the set was not cheap. But I am glad I did.Read more ›
Great information for anyone interested in music. It took me a long time to read being a lecture series and not a mystery, but it was worth the time. The authors approach is multi-faceted in the fact that he talks about the history, the structure of music and some of the instruments. Also some interesting stories are thrown in along the way.
This author knows his stuff and that enthusiasm comes out in this writing. My musical knowledge was small, but this book has really opened my eyes to what is out there. I had no idea what many of the pieces he mentioned were so I Googled a few and was fascinated. I think the CD is the way to go, the book can get a bit dry at times. But, I enjoyed this book and think I have a much better grasp on music than I ever did before.
The writing is good-humored and the flow is great!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great comprehensive treatment of music. An unforgettable experience. I listened to each CD twice.Published 2 months ago by Lee Topham
Wow- i am sooo glad i picked up this book at the library. His writing is so clear and descriptive, and he writes in a fun, engaging manner. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Coffee Bird
This book is a wonderful read, both for musicians and for listeners. It is fast-paced and entertaining. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nicholas Cortes
The best Music History book with great explanation about how to listen to music....Published 6 months ago by Joe G
A Great Book to read before listening to/understanding Great Music.Published 7 months ago by ALANKO ANTTI