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Best courses from The Great Courses 2024

best courses from the great courses

How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

Learning to appreciate the unparalleled beauty, genius and power of concert music can enrich your life permanently. Why is this so? As award-winning composer and professor Robert Greenberg explains, “Music, the most abstract and sublime of all the arts, is capable of imparting to us an incredible amount of expressive, historical and even philosophical information, provided our antennas are in place and A little education can revitalize and make relevant a body of music that many consider beyond their reach. Change the way you listen to music forever with this exceptional course that explores the history, composition and sublime achievements of Western concert music.

Grammar: Professor Greenberg gives you an exceptional understanding of musical forms, techniques and terms – the grammatical elements that enable you to master the language of music. These are not boring concepts. Professor Greenberg alerts us to their need:

Rich Context: Professor Greenberg teaches about the powerful influence of social context on musical creation. Best-selling author James Collins, writes in Inc. magazine, explains, “The Greenberg series combines a history of Western civilization with a history of great music from ancient Greece to the 20th century. Greenberg’s 48 conferences come to life with passion and knowledge. The course illustrates the interplay between societal change and innovation and offers a unique perspective on the acceleration of changes brought about by the 20th century. ”

Professor Greenberg’s lectures show how musical creativity has provided, throughout the history of our civilization, a dynamic medium of expression for great spiritual, intellectual, political, social and economic forces. Whether it is the profound influence of Lutheran spirituality on Bach or the effect of the French Revolution on Beethoven (to give just two examples), you will see how such forces swirled through the lives of creators and listeners to music from different historical periods. You will also understand how these forces have spurred the creation of musical masterpieces that are both transcendent works of art and compositions deeply rooted in their respective eras, revealing to us something central about the human condition of each. .

The Composers: The course examines the contributions of almost all of the great composers. But one of Professor Greenberg’s goals is to make their music accessible, and for that we have to accept that each of them was human and nothing more. (He observes at one point that an English translation of the name Giuseppe Verdi would simply be “Joe Green.”) You will remember their music, and you will never forget the composers who come to life throughout the lectures. Consider Professor Greenberg’s introduction to Berlioz:

Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos

The guitar is the perfect first instrument for not only learning to play, but also for learning to read, understand and enjoy music. And, whether you’ve had a few years of lessons, learned it yourself, or have never chosen a guitar, this lesson is the perfect way to start. Brilliantly designed so that you can learn from scratch, Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales & Solos is a unique and effective way to quickly access one of the most significant forms of self-expression, the most enjoyable and satisfying. You don’t need to know how to read a note when you start this course, but even if you do, you will quickly acquire new skills, knowledge, and understanding. The highly original modular format of this course is designed to let you immediately learn to play. Each of the 24 lectures begins with an engaging historical narrative or personal story, then delves directly into five modular teaching units:

Technique – Learn how to properly hold the guitar, move naturally around the instrument, and all the basic skills of playing the guitar, from left hand fingering and shifting to right hand strumming, picking fingers and playing the pick.
Musicians & Note Reading – Learn to read three types of music notation and find that reading music is actually quite simple if you learn it in short and easy steps; understand how to play and read rhythms, and develop the ability to play by ear.
Chords – Find out how to play a wide range of basic chords – the basic harmonic elements of music and the musical foundation under a melody; study chord theory and the fundamentals of musical structure.
Melodic Scales and Patterns – Study the fundamental guitar scales, another essential part of guitar playing, as well as guitar melodic patterns or “licks,” tools that allow you to play guitar lines and melodies.
Put it all together – From the very first lesson, put together what you have learned into real guitar tunes and pieces, covering a variety of different musical styles. Each lesson is crowned with a song that uses all the material.
Why the guitar? Like the piano, the guitar is an autonomous solo instrument and an infinitely adaptable “partner” for musical and vocal accompaniment. Surprisingly versatile, the guitar is an instrument with an unrivaled range of expression, encompassing styles of rock, pop, jazz, country, blues and classical music. And yet the basics of the guitar are surprisingly easy to learn – and fast! The guitar is also one of the most affordable and portable instruments. What you learn by studying the guitar translates easily into all musical instruments and disciplines, including singing, songwriting, and arranging.

Your instructor is Dr. Colin McAllister, a popular teacher and performer, whose wide musical spectrum ranges from rock and avant-garde groups to classical solo guitar and chamber music. symphony orchestras and jazz groups. Dr. McAllister studied under the “first family” of classical guitar – the Romero brothers – and befriended one of America’s greatest jazz guitarists, Johnny Smith. He sprinkles this course with well-told stories and skillful lessons from over 25 years of professional experience. It also shatters the myth that you have to have a special talent, or start at an early age, to play an instrument well. Sharing his own stories, which range from poignant to hilarious, and joined by a promising guitar student and guest singers, Dr. McAllister shows you that learning even four guitar chords will open up a world of possibilities, encompassing hundreds of songs, as well as styles and eras.

As you walk through each lesson on the path from beginning musician to accomplished musician, you will earn the equivalent of two semesters of college-level instruction, or dozens of hours of private instruction, plus material for hundreds of hours. of practice. This course quickly becomes an experience – an experience that will deepen your appreciation for everything you hear.

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