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MUS201 Introduction to Western Music

YouTube Free Videos

Story of Music series, by Howard Goodall, BBC YouTube: based on The Story of Music, a work of nonfiction by English composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall, first published in 2013 by Chatto & Windus, which covers the history of largely Western classical music from pre-history to 2012.

Episode 1 - "The Age of Discovery"

Episode 2 - "The Age of Invention" 

Episode 3  -  "The Age of Elegance and Sensibility"  

Episode 4  - "The Age of Tragedy"

Episode 5 -  "The Age of Rebellion"

Episode 6, part 1 - "The Popular Age"

Big Bangs Series, by Howard Goodall BBC YouTube videos, looks in detail at particular moments in time where one person’s ideas and actions have changed the course of Western music forever.

Episode 1 - Notation

Episode 2 - Equal Temperament

Episode 3 - Opera

Episode 4 - Piano

Episode 5 - Recorded Sound

Great Dates series, by Howard Goodall, BBC YouTube videos, examining special dates in musical history.

1564 Palestrina and the Rise of the Violin Part 1 & 2

1791 Mozart

1874 Wagner - Part 1 & 2

PBS Free Videos

PBS Great Performances "Now Hear This," with Scott Yoo, free YouTube episodes (otherwise PBS asks for a subscription)(this is not a comprehensive list as many of the PBS videos have not been converted to YouTube):

"Scarlatti Man Out of Time," - The greatest composer you’ve never heard of: Domenico Scarlatti. He was the finest keyboard player in Europe, hired by the Queen of Spain as her personal instructor. Into Vivaldi’s melodies and Bach’s fugues, Scarlatti incorporated the sounds of Spain – Moorish, Jewish, Gypsy, folk, dance and guitar – to create a new musical language that inspired generations of musicians after him.

"Vivaldi Something Completely Different," - Scott Yoo crosses Northern Italy, chasing the story of one of the most recorded pieces of music in the world, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and discovers how the composer merged religious melodies, opera and a new level of violin playing to launch a new era of music.

"The Riddle of Bach," - Scott Yoo goes to Germany to learn Bach’s sonatas and partitas, widely considered among the greatest works ever written for solo violin. There, he discovers a riddle Bach left behind in his portrait. In trying to solve it, Scott discovers that Bach based his melodic style on Vivaldi and his rhythms on the music of the French court, which leads to a spectacular finale in Paris.

"Hayden: King of Strings," - Explore the work of famed composer Joseph Haydn’s career with host Scott Yoo and featured guest artists as he discovers how Haydn borrowed folk music from Scotland, Hungary and Austria to create his famous “Emperor Quartet.”

"Handel Italian Style," - Before becoming the most famous composer of his time, Handel gained a lifetime of experience in Italy. Welcomed by wealthy patrons, he traveled with the Scarlatti family and learned from Corelli and the masters of the Italian Style. Yoo returns to Italy to follow in Handel’s footsteps, taking in the art, architecture, fashion, food, wine, light and landscape that, even beyond Italian music, shaped this German composer for the rest of his life.

"The Schubert Generation," - Celebrate the work of Franz Schubert with host Scott Yoo as he plays with young musicians establishing themselves in North America’s musical capitals by attempting to master the composer’s music.

"Becoming Mozart," - Travel with host Scott Yoo and pianist Stewart Goodyear as they visit Yoo’s Festival Mozaic where Goodyear learns to direct an orchestra from the piano while improvising the solos of Mozart’s twentieth piano concerto.

You may find more on if you're willing to search.

Films On Demand - Western Music

The Piano: King of Instruments : No other instrument has been as important to the history of Western music as the piano.

George Frideric Handel “Much More to Handel” : George Frideric Handel is acknowledged as one of the most powerful figures in music history. Born in Germany, he dominated classical music in England for decades. 

Beethoven : For many people, musicians and laymen alike, Beethoven is the most admired composer in the history of Western classical music

Classical Destinations: The Great Composers (Series 1) : The great cities and towns of Europe and the UK, form the backdrops for the stories of the world’s greatest classical composers.

Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music: Mendelssohn : Performance Documentary: Violinist Frank Michael Erben joins the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig under Kurt Masur in a recording made in May 1997. 

Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music: Dvorák : Performance Documentary: "Thunderous applause filled the hall. The cry ‘Dvorak! Dvorak!’ came up from the crowd” (New York Herald, 1893). This uproar was caused by one of the most important works in music... 

The Seasons and the Symphony : This program covers Vivaldi’s musical celebration of the seasons and the Italian countryside; Gluck’s transformation of opera into a dramatic as well as a musical experience; etc.