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Reviews (3)

Daniel Le
Aram Grigoryan
Zhu Ariel


This course fosters the development of aural skills that lead to an understanding of Western music. The musical novice is introduced to the ways in which music is put together and is taught how to listen to a wide variety of musical styles, from Bach and Mozart, to Gregorian chant, to the blues.

Over 15 hours of videos.

23 lectures.

23 reading assignments.

Course Materials

Download original course materials from OYC


Wright, Craig. Listening to Music, 6th ed. Stamford: Schirmer Cengage Learning, 2011.
The textbook comes with the Introduction to Listening CD. The five-volume CD set Popular & Global Music may be purchased separately.

Chinese edition: Wright, Craig. Listening to Music, translated by Li Xiujun and Yu Zhigang. Cengage Learning / Three Union Press (ISBN 978-7-108-03774-9).


Craig Wright received the degree Bachelor of Music in piano and music history at the Eastman School of Music (1966) and a Ph.D. in musicology at Harvard (1972), and since 1973 has taught at Yale University where he is currently the Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music. At Yale, Wright's courses include his perennially popular introductory course "Listening to Music" and his selective seminar "Exploring the Nature of Genius." During the summers he has led several Yale Alumni tours to France, Germany, and Italy. Among his six books are Music and Ceremony at Notre Dame of Paris (1989), Music in Western Civilization (2005), Listening to Music (6th edition, 2011), and Listening to Western Music (2007). He is presently at work on a volume entitled Mozart's Brain: Exploring the Nature of Genius. In 2004 Wright was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Chicago.

Listening to Music by Craig Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Course content

  • Lecture 1 - Introduction

  • Lecture 2 - Introduction to Instruments and Musical Genres

  • Lecture 3 - Rhythm: Fundamentals

  • Lecture 4 - Rhythm: Jazz, Pop and Classical

  • Lecture 5 - Melody: Notes, Scales, Nuts and Bolts

  • Lecture 6 - Melody: Mozart and Wagner

  • Lecture 7 - Harmony: Chords and How to Build Them

  • Lecture 8 - Bass Patterns: Blues and Rock

  • Lecture 9 - Sonata-Allegro Form: Mozart and Beethoven

  • Lecture 10 - Sonata-Allegro and Theme and Variations

  • Lecture 11 - Form: Rondo, Sonata-Allegro and Theme and Variations (cont.)

  • Lecture 12 - Guest Conductor: Saybrook Orchestra

  • Lecture 13 - Fugue: Bach, Bizet and Bernstein

  • Lecture 14 - Ostinato Form in the Music of Purcell, Pachelbel, Elton John and Vitamin C

  • Lecture 15 - Gregorian Chant and Music in the Sistine Chapel

  • Lecture 16 - Baroque Music: The Vocal Music of Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Lecture 17 - Mozart and His Operas

  • Lecture 18 - Piano Music of Mozart and Beethoven

  • Lecture 19 - Romantic Opera: Verdi's La Traviata, Bocelli, Pavarotti and Domingo

  • Lecture 20 - The Colossal Symphony: Beethoven, Berlioz, Mahler and Shostakovich

  • Lecture 21 - Musical Impressionism and Exoticism: Debussy, Ravel and Monet

  • Lecture 22 - Modernism and Mahler

  • Lecture 23 - Review of Musical Style

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