How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart

How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart

by Robert Greenberg


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The perfect music gift from one of the most trusted names in continuing education. Learn how to better appreciate music in this guide that will unlock the knowledge you need to understand “the most abstract and sublime of all the arts.”

Whether you're listening in a concert hall or on your iPod, concert music has the power to move you. The right knowledge can deepen the ability of this music to edify, enlighten, and stir the soul. In How to Listen to Great Music, Professor Robert Greenberg, a composer and music historian, presents a comprehensive, accessible guide to how music has mirrored Western history, that will transform the experience of listening for novice and long-time listeners alike.

You will learn how to listen for key elements in different genres of music—from madrigals to minuets and from sonatas to symphonies—along with the enthralling history of great music from ancient Greece to the 20th century. You'll get answers to such questions as Why was Beethoven so important? How did the Enlightenment change music? And what's so great about opera anyway? How to Listen to Great Music will let you finally hear what you've been missing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452297081
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/26/2011
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 354,047
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert Greenberg is an American composer, musician, and musicologist. He has composed more than 50 works for a variety of instruments and voices, and has recorded a number of lecture series on music history and music appreciation for The Great Courses. He is the author of How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Understanding and Listening to Music 1

Chapter 2 A Mad Dash Through the Roots of Western Music 7

Chapter 3 The Music of the Medieval Church 13

Chapter 4 A Necessary and Invigorating Excursion into the Worlds of Music Theory and Terminology 30

Chapter 5 Emotional Exuberance and Intellectual Control: The Paradox of Baroque Art 36

Chapter 6 Play It, Don't Say It: The Rise of Instrumental Music 45

Chapter 7 National Styles: Italy and Germany (or Why German Music Will Never Hit Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie and Italian Music Will Never Go from Best to Wurst] 54

Chapter 8 Fugue It! 63

Chapter 9 Opera: The Baroque Expressive Revolution in Action 69

Chapter 10 Opera Goes to Church 79

Chapter 11 A New Liturgy Comes of Age: Lutheran Baroque Sacred Music 88

Chapter 12 Instrumental Form in Baroque Era Music 96

Chapter 13 Baroque Era Musical Genres 102

Chapter 14 Enlightened Is as Enlightened Does: An Introduction to the Classical Era 111

Chapter 15 Putting It All Together: Classical Era Musical Form, Part One 124

Chapter 16 Classical Era Musical Form, Part Two 137

Chapter 17 Classical Era Orchestral Genres, Part One 146

Chapter 18 Classical Era Orchestral Genres, Part Two 156

Chapter 19 Send in the Buffone: Opera in the Classical Era 166

Chapter 20 A Revolutionary Artist for a Revolutionary Time: Ludwig van Beethoven 177

Chapter 21 Beethoven's Compositional Innovations: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Innovate 186

Chapter 22 Isn't It Romantic?: The Music of the Nineteenth Century 197

Chapter 23 Structural Problems: Formal Challenges in Early Romantic Music 205

Chapter 24 Going Beyond Beethoven: Hector Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique and the Program Symphony 215

Chapter 25 Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera Rossini Bel Canto 228

Chapter 26 Giuseppe Verdi: It's All About the People-Dramatic Truth in Italian Opera 234

Chapter 27 Nineteenth-Century German Opera: Von Weber and Wagner, Nationalism and Experimentation 241

Chapter 28 Of Thee I Sing: Musical Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century 255

Chapter 29 Romantic Nationalism, Russian Style 264

Chapter 30 A Modern Music for a Modern World 271

Chapter 31 Revolutions, Evolutions, and "-isms" Galore: The Making of a New Music in the Early Twentieth Century 280

Chapter 32 From Russia with Rhythm: Igor Stravinsky 288

Chapter 33 No Waltz in the Park: Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna and Expressionism 295

Postlude 305

Music Selections 309

Glossary 315

Bibliography 323

Index 325

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How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I listen to Greenberg's lectures alot and love them and his book is wonderful too.