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#2084476 - 05/17/13 11:10 PM Understanding the Fundamentals of Music - your thoughts?
JosephAC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 168
Loc: Melbourne Australia
I am considering purchasing 'Understanding the Fundamentals of Music' DVD's (actually download) by professor Robert Greenberg and I appreciate your feedback if you have studied them.
I have been studying piano for 18 months and I have a good grasp of the basics.
Will they , in any way, contribute to better playing ?

Thanks in advance

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#2084519 - 05/18/13 01:45 AM Re: Understanding the Fundamentals of Music - your thoughts? [Re: JosephAC]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
Anything you learn and understand better about the way music works will help your playing. I am not familiar with this particular course, however, so I cannot tell if it's good or not.
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#2084667 - 05/18/13 10:31 AM Re: Understanding the Fundamentals of Music - your thoughts? [Re: JosephAC]
Sand Tiger Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1041
Loc: Southern California
The thread got me curious. I looked it up. When sold as physical CDs, there are sixteen 45 minute long lectures. The few online reviews are positive, with positive comments.

The Amazon blurb says it is light on notation. I see this as a minor negative for someone at 18 months on piano. Reading scores is a skill to be cultivated for pianists.

For what is likely the price of one book of sheet music for the downloads, I don't see much downside. Certainly a lot will be learned from the lectures, though the pianist will have to make the connections with the scores separately. If I remember correctly, the op has a long daily commute, so can use that time to listen to the audio.
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#2084702 - 05/18/13 11:28 AM Re: Understanding the Fundamentals of Music - your thoughts? [Re: JosephAC]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 984
Loc: Italy
I am admittedly a big fan of prof. Robert Greenberg, so yes, this is a great course! I'm not sure it will improve your playing though. It is very detailed and many examples are given at the piano, but this course does not use notation, so it's kind of disconnected from actual music reading and playing.
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Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2085471 - 05/19/13 11:32 PM Re: Understanding the Fundamentals of Music - your thoughts? [Re: sinophilia]
JosephAC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 168
Loc: Melbourne Australia
I wonder the real value if it will not improve my reading and playing.

Sinophilia, what benefits did you derive from the course ?
How did it help you in your music journey? Do these lectures beginner's or professional's?

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#2085493 - 05/20/13 12:05 AM Re: Understanding the Fundamentals of Music - your thoughts? [Re: JosephAC]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1212
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I've gone through several of Robert Greenberg's courses, and they have all been great. It's been a few years since I listened to this one, but I remember it being a very useful introduction to music theory -- scales, chords, etc. It helped give me a better understanding of what I was playing, the function that each part of the music plays, and why the music "works".

It won't help you with technique, that is, actually playing the notes of the music, but it could help you make better sense of it, thereby helping you become a better player. If you often find yourself asking the question "why?" about various aspects of music, this could be a very good class for you. It should fit fine with your 18 months of experience.

If you do end up getting the course, let us know how it works out for you.
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Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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#2085497 - 05/20/13 12:13 AM Re: Understanding the Fundamentals of Music - your thoughts? [Re: JosephAC]
Sand Tiger Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1041
Loc: Southern California
Hi Joseph,

I got a lot of value from a free music appreciation course:

http://oyc.yale.edu/music/musi-112

The value was some history, some stories, some context, some terminology, some theory. In short, a lot of good information for music lovers. I've already told stories about Bach during my live performances, and audiences are interested. Telling a story makes it that much more likely that the performer connects with the audience.

Most pianists are music lovers. The course you are considering is more directly tied to music. If you get some of the sheet music from:
http://imslp.org/

studying the scores as you take the course, will definitely help your playing. With the long commute, there are only so many things a person can do.

I see these kind of courses as a good use of time for music lovers. A deeper understanding of music, the composers, the compositions, all help the musician. A pianist can only do so much physical practice. There is a limit to sight reading drills or ear training and playing the instrument. By shifting gears to studying theory or history, the mind can absorb more without overloading certain parts of the brain.
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