View Poll Results: Are the Great Courses worth the money

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  • Yes - Spend Spend Spend

    7 70.00%
  • No - Buy another Beethoven Cycle instead

    3 30.00%
  • Spend it in the bar

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Thread: The Great Courses - Are the music courses worth the price in your opinion?

  1. #1
    Senior Member gHeadphone's Avatar
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    Default The Great Courses - Are the music courses worth the price in your opinion?

    Ive played and sung a great deal over the past 25 years.

    However ive only started to sing in a choir in the last 4 or so, this is my first encounter with having to read music. Ive started to listen to classical music almost exclusively in the last year and id love to broaden my education.

    Does anybody have experience of the Great Courses in Music http://www.thegreatcourses.co.uk/sea.../music?q=music

    I was thinking of either http://www.thegreatcourses.co.uk/cou...-of-music.html (Understanding the Fundamentals of Music) or http://www.thegreatcourses.co.uk/cou...d-edition.html (How to listen to and understand great music).

    Any idea whether they are worth the price?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I didn't like Greenberg as a Lecturer, but my friend that loaned me the materials loved it

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  4. #3
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    No, all a good reader needs to do is read, read, read. Many good books to read. Pure and simple.

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    Senior Member gHeadphone's Avatar
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    Im currently reading the Rest is Noise which is very enlightening, i thought that this would be useful as i could listen to a lecture in the morning on the way to work (before my brain get filled with crap during the day).

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    I voted Yes.
    However, that refers to the Amazon/Audible audiobooks deal. A monthly subscription (£9 in UK) gets you 1 credit a month which you could use for one of the 'Great Courses'.

    The Greenberg 'How To Listen to and Understand Great Music', 48 lectures in 35 hours is surely worth that. I've almost gone through the whole set twice.

    Next I'll get The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works, also by Greenberg.

    I've acquired a literature course too. Whilst the lecturer on this lacks Greenberg's notable spark, it is great for helping me get to sleep. :-)
    Last edited by Don Fatale; Aug-17-2015 at 12:18.

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  10. #6
    Senior Member gHeadphone's Avatar
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    Thanks Don, this is a great help.

    So if i get Audible it costs 1 credit per course? Sounds like a very good deal.

    At 2 listens i take it that you are a big fan of 'How To Listen to and Understand Great Music'.

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    I borrowed this one from the library and loved it. Greenberg has a great sense of humour that makes this a great and informative read (and I'd likely give it another skim or two some day ):



    It sells for about $10: is it an abridged version of the course? I think it's all you likely need.

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  13. #8
    Senior Member GreenMamba's Avatar
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    Hard to say, as I don't know your budget. I've gone through three of them (one on theory, The Symphony and something with solo piano works). However, I borrowed them (or in one case, I bought for someone as a gift but was able to freely downlaod a copy for myself). They are expensive.

    I like them. The intergration of music gives them an advantage over a lot of books. On the other hand, you don't get nearly as many words from the lecturer as you would from an author.

    Greenberg is a bit of a goof, and I can see him being very polarizing.

  14. #9
    Senior Member gHeadphone's Avatar
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    Well im on lecture 3 already and im really enjoying them so far. I singed up for a trial with audible so this course is basically free.

    Im using the audible player on my iphone, is there a way of downloading the audio so that i can listen again at a later date if i cancel my subscription?

  15. #10
    Senior Member Polyphemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gHeadphone View Post
    Im currently reading the Rest is Noise which is very enlightening, i thought that this would be useful as i could listen to a lecture in the morning on the way to work (before my brain get filled with crap during the day).
    A superb book, very informative.
    Noli Illegitimi Carborundum

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  17. #11
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    I couldn't make a selection from your choices. I'm a sucker for Beethoven cycles, so my voting would be skewed.

    But personally, I like Greenberg's approach. Is it worth the money? I don't know; I'm kind of tight with my money. I got mine through the library.

    If your library has access to Interlibrary loans, Greenberg also did one on the Schumanns, emphasizing their marriage more than their music, approaching them like a rock star married to a composer. My wife doesn't listen to classical, but even she liked that one.

  18. #12
    Senior Member shadowdancer's Avatar
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    Yes, buy it but not from the "Great Courses" site.
    I am already half way through his courses.
    With the exception of:
    Understanding the Fundamentals of Music (this one I bought from greatcourses.com)
    All other courses are available from audible.com much cheaper!!
    The difference: you don't get the nice pdf booklet.

    As a subscriber, I listened to half of his courses per 16USD each one.
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche
    一期一会

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  20. #13
    Senior Member gHeadphone's Avatar
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    Ah it must have changed, i was able to download the pdf from Audible!

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  22. #14
    Senior Member shadowdancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gHeadphone View Post
    Ah it must have changed, i was able to download the pdf from Audible!
    Wow!! Indeed. All pdf files available.
    Thanks for the heads up. When I started the series the pdf were not available (see the comments at audible.com). And with the easy way through the iphone app I never return to the website "Library" area.

    Thanks again.
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche
    一期一会

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    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    I respect Greenberg and think he is very well-intentioned, but I really hate how he has to associate every single piece of absolute music with some story, piece of a composer's biography or a world event. I would prefer if he would stick to using abstract language for abstract works and narrative language for programmatic works.

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