Lecture 1 - Introduction to Listening to Music

author: Craig Wright, Department of Music, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 21, 2010,   recorded: September 2008,   views: 26649
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Professor Wright introduces the course by suggesting that "listening to music" is not simply a passive activity one can use to relax, but rather, an active and rewarding process. He argues that by learning about the basic elements of Western classical music, such as rhythm, melody, and form, one learns strategies that can be used to understand many different kinds of music in a more thorough and precise way -- and further, one begins to understand the magnitude of human greatness. Professor Wright draws the music examples in this lecture from recordings of techno music, American musical theater, and works by Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy and Strauss, in order to introduce the issues that the course will explore in more depth throughout the semester.

Reading assignment:

None assigned


Professor Wright's course contains copyrighted material, including portions of musical works, the use of which may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. In making this content available, we have relied on fair use as provided for in section 107 of the United States Copyright Law. We make no representation that your use, reuse or remixing of this content will constitute fair use or that by using, reusing or remixing this content you will not infringe upon the rights of others. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that exceed fair use or wish to use such material in a manner that is not authorized under the applicable copyright law, you must request permission from the copyright owner.

Special thanks to Naxos, LLC for providing recordings from the Notes - Naxos Music Library for use in connection with the Open Yale Courses publication of Craig Wright's Listening to Music course. For specific credits, see: Naxos Music Credits - Lecture 1 [PDF]

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Martin, June 15, 2011 at 1:36 a.m.:

Really good stuff. I look forward to looking at the other ones!

Comment2 Sue, July 25, 2012 at 6:12 a.m.:

This video was very enlightening. The professor is a highly effective instructor. He is concise and organized, repeats information and speaks clearly. The lecture was entertaining.

Comment3 Kerry, July 17, 2019 at 6:23 a.m.:

This was a great lecture-Listening to Music
I found it very interesting and enjoyable,
I certainly recommend others to watch it.
I am looking forward to watching the rest.

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Music lectures are great.

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