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Classical music for dummies (yes, you, sorry) in an online course


Elvert Barnes CC

Zelda Caldwell - published on 05/03/17

For those who grew up with more MTV than Mozart, here's how to fill in the gaps.

Do you enjoy listening to classical music in a casual sort of way, but, having spent your youth cranking up Bon Jovi rather than appreciating Beethoven, can’t tell the difference between the Baroque and the Romantic?

Do you wish you had a knowledgeable guide to explain the foundations of classical music so you have a better sense of what you are listening to?

To put it bluntly, do you love classical music but know absolutely nothing about it?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this online course from Juilliard and the famed Berliner Philharmoniker may be for you.

The six-week course, entitled “How to Listen to Great Music for Orchestra,” beginning on May 15, takes you through five orchestra pieces (by Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, and Bartók), and promises to fill in the gaps  – no matter how large – in your knowledge so as to better appreciate classical music.

After completing the course, Julliard promises that you may expect to know:

  • What to listen for to appreciate orchestra music without feeling intimidated.
  • The roles of each instrument in the orchestra and how they interact.
  • How to identify which era a piece of music is from, including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th century.
  • How to compare these five major orchestral pieces with orchestral pieces by other great composers.
  • What to listen to next to continue your enjoyment of orchestra music beyond the five pieces in the course.

With interactive listening guides, an opportunity to interact with a Juilliard-trained course fellow, HD video performances by the Berliner Philharmoniker, and a curated playlist to listen to after the course, this course will give you the tools make the most of Spotify – or even take in a concert performance.

At $497, it’s not cheap, but who couldn’t use a little more (a lot more?) beauty in one’s life? As the old ads for L’Oréal hair dye said, I pay more “Because I’m worth it.” In this case, if you can afford it, it might be money well spent.

CeciliaClassical Music
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