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Coursera introductory classes on Classical music

Coursera introductory classes on Classical music
November 30, 2013, 04:35:12 AM
I've taken a couple of classes on coursera and I wanted to share and recommend them to metal fans who are not familiar with
but are interested in getting a acquainted with classical music.   In case someone does not want to register to the website, I also downloaded
the videos from coursera and uploaded them to dropbox repository to share.

1)  From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance
by David Ludwig, Jonathan Coopersmith

Coursera course: https://class.coursera.org/musichistoryperforms-001/class
Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nbx2oshrbdt5458/From%20the%20Repertoire.%20Western%20Music%20History%20through%20Performance.zip

2) Exploring Beethovenís Piano Sonatas
Jonathan Biss

Coursera course: https://www.coursera.org/course/beethovensonatas
Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2qn2kcm9wtdfzsu/Exploring%20Beethoven%20Sonatas%2C%20Jonathan%20Biss.zip

Thanks for this! Downloading now.

I love learning about the guts and gears of music, but I hate to be taught.

Just a couple of lectures in, these courses have already been very helpful for me. Thanks a lot! Highly recommended.


I love learning about the guts and gears of music, but I hate to be taught.

I'm not sure if that means that you'll watch or you'll hate them because they are trying to teach you something in the lectures...


I love learning about the guts and gears of music, but I hate to be taught.

I'm not sure if that means that you'll watch or you'll hate them because they are trying to teach you something in the lectures...

Yeah, that sounded really stupid, didn't it?

I meant that I learn "at my own pace". I need to be able to satisfy curious tangents by breaking away from whatever subject I'm on and digging around elsewhere. And I hate to be on other people's time. So I'd rather not have a person spending time with me, trying to explain things, going over lessons, answering my questions, quizzing me. It makes me feel like a load on their shoulders and I can't concentrate when thinking that way.

Learning from books is what I do best; videos are the next best thing.

Thanks for the clarification!

I hope you can find these videos as interesting and instructive as I did. They are by no means "complete", as they are merely intended as introductory general courses on the subject for amateurs, but they are a great window to start learning these topics.

Do share your opinion about them once you watch a couple of them.  Enjoy!

Learning from books is what I do best; videos are the next best thing.

If you can read music and have a basic knowledge of form and harmony, the best way to quickly gain a really detailed understanding of classical theory is by studying Schoenberg's three books; Fundamentals of Musical Composition, Structural Functions of Harmony and Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint.  They pack an incredible amount of information into relatively small texts and are the best source I have found for an in depth study of classical theory.  I can honestly say that I learned more from these three books in a couple of months than I did in three years studying music at uni.  The counterpoint book can be quite hard to find and can be replaced by another counterpoint textbook since it's a fairly straightforward subject, but the other two are indispensable.

Amazon links...

Fundamentals of Musical Composition

Structural Functions of Harmony

Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint

I'll get these down in a list.
For the moment I am using Harmony and Voice Leading, by Edward Aldwell, Carl Schachter, and Allen Cadwallader.
I think I should finish this one first before venturing into deeper territory, no?

I'll get these down in a list.
For the moment I am using Harmony and Voice Leading, by Edward Aldwell, Carl Schachter, and Allen Cadwallader.
I think I should finish this one first before venturing into deeper territory, no?

I don't know the text but I would say if you're learning and finding it useful then there is no reason to move on.  Schoenberg's Structural Functions of Harmony is not a beginners' harmony book.  It presupposes a knowledge of basic diatonic and chromatic harmony and standard modulation patterns.

I probably should have mentioned is that the Schoenberg texts are primarily aimed at people who wish not only to analyse music but to compose it.  Thus the level of detail is significantly greater than what is often presented.  Also, for anyone who wishes to compose music for classical instruments an orchestration textbook is a must.  I use the one by Walter Piston although I hear there are several other good ones available.

Bringing this thread to the top again for those interested in this content.
The Dropbox Links here still work.  I'll be keeping the files there as long as I can.

Thanks fenrir. I will give it a try.

I found this a little while ago which was helpful.
As for the books mentioned, well I'm not sure how just much deeper I really need to go as the type of music I would be trying to make is synth and sequencers etc. i.e. all my reading time spent on operation manuals  ???.


Thank you for uploading.
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Thanks fenrir. I will give it a try.

I found this a little while ago which was helpful.
As for the books mentioned, well I'm not sure how just much deeper I really need to go as the type of music I would be trying to make is synth and sequencers etc. i.e. all my reading time spent on operation manuals  ???.

Hey, thanks for that link. I will look through it once I am done with the current class I am taking.  Always good to have another reference besides the book I am following.
In my case I am devoting my time to the music theory and history and am quite ignorant about equipment and stuff. I just have a Boss distortion pedal and a simple Cort X-1 guitar. And I go with that.  I am interested in synths, but for work in a couple of years, when I've dominated other things first.



I don't know the text but I would say if you're learning and finding it useful then there is no reason to move on.  Schoenberg's Structural Functions of Harmony is not a beginners' harmony book.  It presupposes a knowledge of basic diatonic and chromatic harmony and standard modulation patterns.


This will be in my list of musts for the future, then.  I'll see if I can purchase it soon. Thanks, again.