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How to Listen to and Understand Great Music


I listen to a lot of audio books. I get them on Audible. I really love audio books because you can listen to them everywhere.

I probably “read” more via audio books than regular reading. Why? Because audio books can be listened to while you’re washing dishes, cleaning your house, getting up in the morning, going out for a walk, sitting on a train, etc.

Audio books are great, but sometimes can be disappointing. Not every book lends itself to an audio format. Sometimes you’ll listen to an audio book and think to yourself, “I should be reading this because I can’t remember all of this or this is too abstract. I need to see the concept on paper.”

I sometimes listen to audio novels, but mostly I listen to nonfiction information. Because I started doing some book reviews, I thought it would be a great idea to also review some of my favourite audio books, and they’re not going to be all about natural health.

I want to start with one that’s related to a big passion of mine: music. We love different kinds of music but I think most people are somewhat curious and interested about “classical music.”

For a lot of people, classical music is kind of mysterious: dead composers playing music of dead composers. The music is timeless even though it may have been written 200 years ago. Can we say the same about the popular artists of today? I don’t think so.

Classical music can also be intimidating. It’s complicated and it can be boring if you always listen to the same stuff. It’s much more than background music. To really enjoy classical music, you really have to understand why this music was written, what was going on in the artist’s mind when he wrote the music, and what is the structure of the music. It’s a language, and if you understand the language a little better it will make more sense.

Where to Start

I cannot think of a better way to get into the wonderful world of music than through Professor Robert Greenberg’s courses. He’s an amazing teacher and entertainer who’s produced a series of courses by the Teaching Company. These courses normally sell for $100 or more. I’ve been coveting the courses for a long time, and when I saw that they were available on Audible I jumped on the opportunity.

If you can get an audio book for $10 or $20 when it’s worth $100 or more, it’s a great deal. These courses are totally worth it. I’ve been really dedicated to them and there’s one that I would recommend to start with: “How to listen to and understand great music.”

I think music can really touch your soul and improve your life if you let it. This program by Professor Greenberg is not a book converted into an audio book, but a series of lectures that were recorded. Therefore, they’re much more lively and entertaining.

This program was meant to be listened to as an audio book. It’s a survey of the entire world of western concert music from its very start in ancient Greece to modern days. It goes into all the history of music, the different forms of music and how they’ve evolved.

It’s quite fascinating and it’s a topic that could be incredibly boring if taught by most other musicologists. Professor Greenberg is an amazing exception. He’s so entertaining that you’ll literally want to listen to it just for his jokes, his metaphors and his stories. He’s got quite a talent to entertain, but his knowledge is also deep. He’s quite a master at taking complex subjects and making them understandable.

If you’ve ever thought about getting into classical music but you have no idea where to start, or you already enjoy music but you’d like to learn more, there’s really no better place to start than this course. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “What does this have to do with natural health and alternative therapies, which is usually the main topic of this website?” Well, again, I think music has tremendous power. This is my belief, to enhance our lives, lower our stress levels, and just make us happier people. That’s why I will not hide my passion for this and I want to share it with you guys through some reviews of music and books that I’ve found useful.

Get a trial subscription at Audible so you can download this book today for free.

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.