Friday, January 27, 2012
The great classical experiment
I make no apology that I have little love for classical music and that probably makes me a charlatan - a badge I can't say I wear with pride but I've been called a lot worse in my time. There are certain pieces of classical music I like (mainly modern composers like Gorecki and Arvo Pärt) but on the whole, classical makes me tune out. I'm a rock guy and I think that's ok.
However, a colleague at work put me onto Open Yale, an initiative by the institution that allows anyone to listen to lectures in a number of introductory classes. While I was looking through it, I stumbled upon a class entitled Listening to Music. The course description is thus:
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.
In the introductory lecture, Professor Craig Wright explains that our understanding of music (including the filthy rock I listen to) and life itself can be greatly improved by an understanding and appreciation of classical music. As such, I'm going to listen to a lecture a week and see if taking this class will improve my minimal understanding of classical and/or enhance my appreciation of the music I gravitate to. In some respects, it's almost a silly thing as I can't see myself relinquishing the new Mark Lanegan record for Beethoven anytime soon but maybe I'll actually learn something... probably not, I'm pretty dense. Here's hoping anyhow...
If you'd like to join me on this fool's errand, the classes can be obtained here. OK back to Lanegan...