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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Classical Music by Yale University

3,882 ratings

About the Course

Using a simple and enjoyable teaching style, this course introduces the novice listener to the wonders of classical music, from Bach fugues to Mozart symphonies to Puccini operas....

Top reviews


Mar 6, 2019

Really appreciate Prof. Wright give us such rich content and sophisticated course. I really enjoy and love it. I am looking forward to seeing more high-level courses from Prof. Wright if there is any.


Mar 23, 2021

A truly wonderful introduction to Classical music. Great course content but perhaps most importantly, Professor Wright is perhaps one of the best teachers I've ever had the pleasure of learning from.

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1 - 25 of 1,183 Reviews for Introduction to Classical Music


Mar 6, 2019

Really appreciate Prof. Wright give us such rich content and sophisticated course. I really enjoy and love it. I am looking forward to seeing more high-level courses from Prof. Wright if there is any.

By Jung K P

Mar 31, 2019

The excellent course I've ever taken. Thank you so much Prof. Craig. I had started with almost zero knowledge in music, but ended up with a box of music jewelries in my hand to enjoy. When the lecture reached to Mozart, I could not stop my passion to learn playing Piano, so I now do a self learning via online materials. I was unable to read the music notes even, now I am reading and challenging to know more day by day. I am a retired (from full time job) person, but starting to play piano like a kindergarten kid! Thank you again for the wonderful classes.

By Carol L

May 7, 2019

I feel that I learned the most important basics of listening to music. I feel more qualified to differentiate between musical genres and have a conversation about musical terms. I appreciated seeing the relationship of music to the others arts during similar eras. This course was well worth my time.

By Robert B

Jun 20, 2016

One of the best courses I have taken so far. The instructor is simply the best and the material is awesome. I learnt so much and could not stop until I finished. Great job Prof. You are the best.

By Michael N

Nov 23, 2018

This is an interesting and ear- and mind-opening course. In parts it is very good, but with some attention to a number of points it could be excellent.

I will list a number of the issues that I would like to see addressed:

The professor has a wide and profound knowledge, but speaks somewhat indistinctly. This is far from being helped by the English subtitles - I do not mean the transcription - but the English video subtitles (I am a native British English speaker) which appear to have been done by a deaf, non-musical, computer and hopefully not by a human. If they WERE done by a human, he or she was drunk or had no knowledge or interest in the content of the material. I have tried to contact the people in charge of the subtitles, but with no success. I understand that they are not the same people as those who perform translations. English subtitles for an English spoken course are apparently not handled by the translator volunteers but are so I was told, farmed out to an outside contactor. There are some absurd transcriptions in the subtitles, and it simply isn't possible to send in reports about each of them - Chello, Hayden, Richard (for we should) are just three that come to mind. The course deserves far better, even if Professor Wright's diction and delivery are sometimes problematic. I needed the subtitles, because Professor Wright's delivery is not always comprehensible. Unfortunately I found the English subtitles to be careless, wrong and inconsistent, and occasionally - groaningly funny.

I would be happy to consider reviewing the subtitles - but for this would need them as a separate and continuous file, against which the spoken text could be compared. If someone would like me to do this, please contact me at

2. (for some reason this window does not allow the first point to labelled 1.) - the presenter plays (not always too well, on an appalling synthesizer. Why couldn't a piano be used? The music deserves better than the sound of a mock piano.

3. There appears to be no accompanying reading material. Yes, Professor Wright's book is referenced, but this does not seem to be available outside the US. Surely some additional references could and should have been found by now.

The above points detract in my opinion from what otherwise be a truly wonderful course.

I would be happy to hear your feedback.

Best regards

Dr Michael Neugarten

By Emilia R

Mar 8, 2016

This course has a lot of information. It is well organized, and so many music illustrations. I am really enjoying this course, and will freely recommend it to anyone interested in classical music.

By Marcos V

Jan 18, 2017

I just need to thank professor Wright and Yale University for this wonderful and almost undescribable experience. I started watching the classroom videos a few years ago and I knew it was something remarkable. Now with Coursera the course is even better and I am glad I took it until the end. As an engineer I can assure this course transcends both technical and professional specializations for it touches our innermost sense of humanity. Not a single minute should account as a waste of time here. Professor Wright is an example of a master to be followed. His ability to teach the complexities of a Bach's fugue, the inspiration of Beethoven's 5th or the sensitivity of Chopin's nocturnes to a layman as myself goes way beyond just a simple informative course. Besides teaching you how to really listen and appreciate good music without being pedantic or dull, he shows many interesting curiosities as just someone who truly loves what he does could do. Mozart's extravagant character, his tiny piano, the places where he lived, all that made me go to places I had dreamed of. Clara Schumman's diary made me angry with our sexist world at the same time Robert made me cry with his Traumerei. Such remarkable experiences make this course a masterpiece. I could not recommend it anymore. Make yourself a favor and enroll now.

By Leaf

Jun 15, 2019

This course is great! Professor Wright and his team put great effort to make this course interesting and be easily understood.

Though actually, I can't fully grasp all the information. I still recommend it to you guys who are interested in classical music. Some materials and questions are a little difficult for me because I'm not a native speaker, so I had to look up the dictionary for the musical terms. (I hope one day there will be well-translated Chinese subtitles.) But trust me, it's completely fine to learn these new words and concepts. I can think more about the melody and rhythm when I'm listening to the works of J.S.Bach and Debussy now. And I hope I can have access to these materials after finishing it.

Anyway, If you stick to it, there will be gains! Thank you for the amazing course!

By Hermione F

Aug 15, 2016

I feel Professor Craig Wright offers a comprehensive, varied, accessible and fun overview of a very large subject, starting right at the beginning of musical history and bringing you up to the present day. He uses a wide variety of visual and audio resources including relevant works of art, architecture, artefacts, sketches, quotes from historical documents, surviving musical scores, music recordings, videos of live orchestral performance, music animations, costume, period instruments and interviews with musical colleagues of his who are able to share their expertise. In addition to all this he offers us his own photographs from his pilgrimages to cities such as Vienna, which adds further to the course's personal touch.

What comes across throughout Wright's course videos is his immense love of, and desire to share that love of classical music, which for me is a major factor in what makes the course so appealing. I also enjoy his sense of humour and efforts to appeal to a younger generation (Wright is in his 70s). At more than one point in the course he adopts fancy dress to reflect the period he is exploring. A highlight I feel is when the course features a clip from one of his lectures at Yale University where he enrolls some colleagues to enact a scene from Don Giovanni in which Wright plays an angry father, slain by Don Giovanni in a duel. It is a touching (and amusing) example of his good humour and ability to have fun with his students.

My only criticism would be his own piano playing which is often rushed and inaccurate, but I feel this is largely due to the time constraints of filming the videos. By his own admission, he realised early on in life that he was not up to the challenge of being a concert pianist - he is primarily a musicologist, not a pianist. Every piece of music touched on in the course is available via the course Spotify playlist (extremely helpful) so there is no difficulty in listening to professional recordings of all the pieces discussed.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone seeking a background knowledge of the evolution of musical history.

By Nikolay B

Jan 12, 2018

Great lectures, but absolutely no supplementary materials, no assignment, no lecture notes, nothing. Just video. Worst organised course I ever seen on Coursera

By Miguel A

Sep 6, 2019

I was disappointed in the low level of this course, which I did not expect from Yale University. It is full of unnuanced generalizations, clichés and oversimplifications. Paired with dr. Wright's slow manner of speech and his blatant repetition of key words, I felt like I was in elementary school again!

The details are also not always accurate. For example, in the part about Handel, dr Wright says that his operas are about classical history and myth. In fact, more than a third have settings in the middle ages. I could accept this as a generalization, albeit a large and unnecessary one. But he also says that the title character from the opera Rinaldo is some figure of classical mythology, which is factually wrong. In the context of the video it was not important at all. Yet if it's deliberate, it is in my opinion highly inappropiate to 'change' facts to fit your generalization. And if it's accidental, it's sloppy. In either case, it seems below the standard of Yale.

And that was not the only inaccuracy, but I won't make this review any longer.

In short, my problems with this course are probably due to my wrong expectations. It is probably a great course for the larger public, but the level is below academic.

By Joshua R

Oct 30, 2020

Totally recommended for those seeking to explore classical music

This course, my first online course by the way, has far exceeded my expectations. It was very informative and very well-paced. My interest in classical music has increased even more after taking this course, which was one of the best choices I've made recently. I really commend Prof. Wright explaining the various features of music using different examples from art and architecture. Being an architecture student, I think that was very effective.

I strongly recommend reading Prof Wright's textbook "The Essential Listening to Music". While it's not 100% necessary to pass the course, it is a very relevant resource for those of you who are really interested in the subject, . It also contains some topics, that couldn't have been covered in this course due to time constraints. I would appreciate more readings though.

Prof. Wright is very knowledgeable and engaging. He has a great sense of humor. He once demonstrated in a class video the killing scene in Mozart's Don Giovanni by having some students and himself cosplay as various characters. Or even that time, when he literally appeared as a Benedictine monk during the session on the Gregorian chant. He really goes all out to make his classes informative and interesting.

The guest lectures were very good. I really enjoyed the sessions by Grant Herreid, Robert Blocker etc. Solomon SIlber was amazing too. I felt James Park was great.

Once again, thank you to the entire team, to everyone who's been involved in this course.

By Arjun S

Oct 9, 2017

Perfect for a beginner, this course gives you a introduction to the evolution of classical music in a historical context as well as the technical wherewithal one needs to appreciate it. The lectures are nicely structured and remarkably easy to follow. Although 73 quizzes seem quite daunting at the beginning you'll come to actually look forward to them to reinforce what you have learnt. Furthermore Prof. Wright is an exceedingly pleasant individual whose lectures explain complicated notions simply without dumbing things down too much and places everything in an evolving context that gives a wonderful introduction to what has become for me a lifelong passion. A huge thank you to Prof. Wright and his team for the effort they have put in.

By Nix-Nox

May 24, 2019

Professor Craig Wright did an exceptional job of explaining Classical music. He's clearly passionate about the subject and shares that along with a litany of useful information. His demeanor reminds me of Mr Rodgers, the way he masks education in friendly and easy to understand conversation. I would love to study more under his tutelage. Highly recommended.

By Ляндрес А А

May 17, 2019

Wonderful course with a lot of interesting, well-structured, enjoyful materials. Thank you so much!

By Michelle N

Sep 4, 2016

This is a great course! I know every enroller says that, but I still need to repeat that fact.

In this course, Professor Wright forwards his in-depth knowledges in both classical and modern music to us students in a very charming and inspiring way. He brings us some very fascinating stories about the composers, music pieces, culture, history and even architecture. I wish him all the best in life, such an amazing man!

The quizzes are definitely not intended for the hush and neglect buddies. You should watch the videos attentively and look out for every single detail that would challenge you in the quizze. So, just be alert.

And, start!

By Shaun B

Apr 27, 2019

What an incredible course and what an incredible journey I have been taken on through this history of music. I am now closer to my own music then I have ever been before and I now have a much deeper insight into music This is a course for understanding the journey of mankind as lived through music. As a musician I feel this is a 'must do' course for anyone who plays an instrument.

By Lori G

Oct 11, 2017

This course was an absolute joy, and I was always in a good mood after the lectures (except maybe minimalism and Copeland, whose technique I found quite boring after all the others). Thank you!

By hilary

Apr 26, 2016

I enjoyed the course very much, and especially the tutor's interesting and informative way of teaching.

thank you very much. I feel that ai have really benefitted from it.

Hilary Tirnover

By Jack M

Oct 26, 2019

This is an outstanding course in all respects, particularly for a long-time listener who is by no means a connoisseur of classical music. Prof. Wright's engaging manner allows ready access to his prodigious knowledge of history, musical eras, key composers, instruments, composition of the orchestra, musical forms, and the relationships that link music with other aspects of culture. I plan to revisit several segments of the course, in particular those on Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Debussy. I also will plug in my headphones and listen to the full-length versions of many of the pieces that the course could present only in snippet form. Dr. Wright and his team get an A+ from this grateful student.

-- Jack Murray

Newark, Del.

By Ivan A

Apr 29, 2018

The course exceeded my original expectations which was to learn about the different periods of classical music, their representatives and historical context and conditions specific to that period of time. The course provided a lot more than that. Lectures were presented in a systematic way and enriched with enchanting lecturing style of professor Wright. To conclude, it was a great and enjoyable journey throughout hundreds of years of history of classical music. Thanks to professor Wright and the team that worked on creating the course!

By Gang F

Jan 26, 2020

This course well structured, interactive, funny and informative. I am a dancer and gradually got more interested in music but virtually knew nothing about it (except listening to lots of music) before I started. And now I am able to identify sounds of different instruments, pieces from different periods in western music and better appreciate musical ideas and understand how it all works. And I think it helps me grow as a dancer too.

Big shout out to Prof Wright and all Yale members who made this possible!

By Karinne

Jan 10, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I was able to continue with my work through a very busy time in my life thanks to the ease of using my phone to complete the lectures and quizzes and the format being simple enough to follow. Craig was a delightful and effective teacher. I very much enjoyed his style of teaching, his expertise and clear explanations, combined with his humble and joyful personality really made the course.

I learned so much! This has been a gift.

Thank you so very much.

Karinne Geier

By Peter a A A

Apr 26, 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed taking this course and learning so much about basic musical theory and classical music. Very highly recommended to anyone who is even slightly curious about classical music. Professor Craig is very engaging, charming and knowledgeable and his online lectures are never boring, always super interesting. My wife and I now understand why this is one of Courseras highest rated courses and recommended it to everyone without reservation.

By Chris H

Feb 7, 2018

A great course for anyone who wants to try exploring the many eras of Western classical music! Professor Wright is very engaging and friendly. He would be the kind of guy that could teach you a lot of concepts about classical music over a glass of coffee. Also, the course will improve your sense of hearing music around the world, whether you are a musician or not. I honestly think this course is one of the best online courses I have ever had.