About Professor Craig Wright
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.
Lecture 1 - Introduction
Professor Wright introduces the course by suggesting that "listening to music" is not simply a passive activity one can use to relax, but rather, an active and rewarding process. He argues that by learning about the basic elements of Western classical music, such as rhythm, melody, and form, one learns strategies that can be used to understand many different kinds of music in a more thorough and precise way -- and further, one begins to understand the magnitude of human greatness. Professor Wright draws the music examples in this lecture from recordings of techno music, American musical theater, and works by Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy and Strauss, in order to introduce the issues that the course will explore in more depth throughout the semester.
Wright, Craig. Listening to Music, chapter 1
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Special thanks to Naxos, LLC for providing recordings from the Naxos Music Library for use in connection with the Open Yale Courses publication of Craig Wright's Listening to Music course. For specific credits, see:
Naxos Music Credits - Lecture 1 [PDF]