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

3,895 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.


Oct 15, 2020

Wonderful course where Craig Wright delves into all eras of classical music and takes you along for the wonderful ride! Craig Wright is one of the best instructors I have come across! Enjoy the ride!

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51 - 75 of 1,188 Reviews for Introduction to Classical Music

By luciana n m

Jan 4, 2021

I love the course, I´m sad that it is over! I learnt a lot, and the format is completly enganging. The professor is fantastic.

By Nicolas C

Dec 27, 2020


By katie c

Dec 29, 2020

Great course and very knowledgeable professor!

By Álvaro D A Z

Jan 3, 2021

Genial. Aprendí y disfruté mucho.

By mathy v

Dec 22, 2020

an inspiring professor!

By Simon Y

Nov 14, 2016

I have taken this course before. If I remember rightly it was a longer course (11 weeks?) and the pacing felt good. It seems it has been compressed into a 9-week course, with some weeks having quite a heavy workload demand and the whole course feeling slightly crammed and rushed.

I realise that perhaps the longer the course, the higher the dropout rate, but I think people who made it to 7-8 weeks of the old course would continue it to completion, while for this course I found myself scrambling for time almost weekly -- I wonder if in fact the dropout rate wouldn't be higher at this kind of pace.

Content-wise the course was excellent -- stimulating, clear, engagingly presented.

By Georgios K

May 23, 2017

I think it is a nice course, which helps you appreciate classical music more. Somehow, I feel the explanation of classical music up to Beethoven is stronger or at least less boring than the explanation after Beethoven period. nevertheless a fantastic work and I really enjoyed it. Thank you Professor Wright.

By Jonathan G

Feb 12, 2018

Interesting course but it had way too many quizzes and was extremely tedious. I would not recommend this course to anyone!

By Richard K M

Nov 1, 2022

Written Review


I loved this course and give it Five Stars! It was a privilege to review the Music History of my college and university years under the guidance and instruction of Dr Craig Wright!



·         Dr Craig is an exceptional and superb instructor: Knowledgeable, Talented, Organized, and Personable. I plan to take his, The Nature of Genius course in the near future.

·         This really is (should be) a semester long course. Even 12 weeks would allow for a bit more coverage of the material at a somewhat less frenetic pace. Alternatively, perhaps this material might be offered in two parts.

·         Points allocated in the Quizzes should be reconfigured. The grading schema is illogical and lacks mathematical precision.

·         The single ongoing problem in all the various courses I’ve taken via Coursera is the poor quality of the English language transcripts. Each transcript should be reviewed and edited by a specialist in the field who has a commanding grasp of language(s), grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and so on. This person should also have a good ear for individual words and phrases; many are incorrect. These many errors, vid by vid, make for a subpar component to what is otherwise an excellent offering. And I see this as the most significant weak spot consistently from course to course.

·         Transcript functions such as highlighting passages as per the Save Note function is at times problematical; several attempts might be required to capture the desired passage for commands to “stick.” The Delete Notes function is pretty much useless in that it seldom works at all.

·         The lack of response to comments and queries continues to diminish the instructional experience as well as acknowledging difficulties and flaws that might be reasonably rectified.

·         One significant negative point that I’m almost reluctant to point out are in regards the many examples played on the piano or electronic keyboard by Dr Wright. Simply playing the notes more or less in order is not sufficient. The excerpts and examples should be played rhythmically and musically—every time. Gah!



·         Improve the quality of the online segments by giving each video transcript an additional copyedit and polish.

·         Again, perhaps the material of this course—recovered and perhaps even fleshed out—might be offered in two parts.


Aug 31, 2020

This course is one of the most unique music courses out there, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Prof. Craig Wright takes you along an amazing journey through the world of music and the high arts. The strongest aspect of this course which makes it outstanding is the parallelism drawn between the historical development of music and corresponding changes in visual art, poetry, literature and even sculpture. For example, not only does this course beautifully cover the musical revolution during the renaissance, but it also gives you a wider context of the ongoing stylistic changes in painting, literature and architecture. The course also helps you get a comprehensive understanding of the life and personalities of the composers In addition to their music. Prof. Wright is a very engaging teacher who will always encourage you to think about and feel the pieces which are analysed. His charisma and charming nature give an extra dimension to this course. The visual tools such as animations go a long way in helping one understand the music more intuitively. Guest appearances from experts and class videos from yale add a cherry on top. I cannot thank this course enough for adding a new dimension to my life and would recommend this course to everyone. trust me, after this you would become a die-hard classical fan.

By Roger F

Feb 14, 2022

Really enjoyable course. I never felt like it was a slog or a chore. In fact I completed the 9 week course in 7. The supplementary lectures and playlists are excellent (the playlists have now formed the backbone of my spotify playlist). I knew the course would cover the full range of Art music from medieval to post-modern but what I didn't suspect was the appreciation it would leave me with for these styles. I can honestly say that I even enjoyed the Atonal music of Shoenberg! (probably on an academic level rather than a tap-my-foot level). Prof. Wright's style is terrific. He's like a friendly grandad: willing to embarass himself with references to (not-quite) current artists; happy to dress up in costume and sing (not too well) to opera; play examples of passages on piano (not too well). but this all adds to his charm. All-in-all, an excellent course. I'm actually feeling at a bit of a loss now. I have the recommended reading of Prof Wright's book to keep me company but I wish there were more courses on music and theory from him to further my knowledge. Thanks Coursera, Yale Music and Prof. Wright.

By Sherif M O

May 10, 2016

I'm a big fan of Classical music specially of the classical and romantic eras (I listen and practice on piano - my ultimate instrument - too) since many years ago, there were always questions rolling on my head regarding these eras and their most important composers but i never got the guts to search deeply for my answers among the scattered information every where, all this happened before i participated in this course.

On this introductory course, i gained a lot of information and my perceptions of the music generally is expanded hugely in a way i never expected :) :) :)

Before this course i was an ordinary listener, now i'm a much way better listener; and i'm sure this will have a positive effect on my piano practicing too.

Thank you very much Craig Wright, you really did a great job and efforts on simplifying a lot of information and display it in a very easy, organized, and pleasant way, and thank you very much Yale University and every one who participated, supported, and made available any information during the time of this all really made a difference in my life.

By Stephanie S

Mar 27, 2024

This class was so special. I knew nothing about Classical Music when I started and wasn't sure I cared, but the enthusiasm of this professor captured me immediately and I found myself completely engaged. I threw myself into it and did all the optional listening and took detailed notes about all my feelings for each piece based on what I was learning. I was so sad at the end of the course because I really wanted to learn even more. Now over a year after I took the course, I am still finding the musical theory and composers I learned about to be an asset to my everyday life. I hear pieces in shows I write and find such joy that I know something about them. I have also found myself digging deeper into learning about some of the composers and listening to many different performances on YouTube. I am very grateful for this experience and am hoping there will be another class. I also appreciated that the professor actively engaged with students. I asked some questions and got timely responses.

By Olga R

Oct 20, 2021

I am very happy to have found this course. It was exactly what I was looking for. I had absolutely no basic knowledge about how music functions, now I feel much more aware. Special thanks to Prof. Wright for his engaging and extremepy positive attitude and ability to convey content in a simple elegant way. And greatest thanks for his clear pronunciation. It was surprisingly effortless for me non-English speaker to understand him. Also thanks for engaging all the sensory modalities, there was something for eyes (movies, images, texts) and for ears (music, singing, conversations). The quizzes were easy to manage in general, though some challenges were there for me regarding the technical and mathematical aspects of music. Now I have a much better understanding of classical music and the most important thing I want to mention is that this course established my persistent interest in classical music and a kind of addiction to regular listening to it.

By Ralitsa P

Apr 5, 2021

My favourite MOOC so far - and I've taken a fair few! I thoroughly enjoyed the exciting and challenging content as a classical music novice. Professor Wright and his team have clearly made so much love and effort in putting this together, thank you so much for keeping the content free and accessible. It felt more than any other MOOC I've taken as a course designed to be studied online as opposed to one that was purely copied and pasted from its original format. The videos from the class were excellent too as well as the demonstrations of the beautiful instruments. It's fantastic to see the link between the different music movements intertwined with the corresponding art movements too as well as the interesting stories about the composers themselves. I hope I can pick up the piano after this course and use it as an inspiration! A huge thank you once again - what an inspiring educational experience!

By Anne L

Feb 20, 2023

A perfectly splendid course with a delightfully engaging professor. I have now bought his books on music and genius, so that I may continue to enjoy his "company" in my life. I am a committed classical music lover, and his insights have helped to expand and deepen my appreciation even further. He made a valiant attempt to cure my innate loathing of modern music (and art), but I'm afraid my feelings remained intractable. The mathematical possibilities of music are infinite within the framework of the traditional (i.e. natural) rules of composition, so smashing those rules to smithereens simply for the sake of "novelty" or "freedom" seems to me both very childish and very annoying. (Why intentionally create ugliness? There is far too much of that already in our world.)


By William L

Feb 18, 2017

Excellent intro course and well produced. The course discusses the various elements that make up the music from different periods. This understanding helps me appreciate the music more and articulate what I like or dislike about a particular piece of music. I was a bit sad after watching the last lecture as I would like this course to go on for longer as I really enjoyed it. It would be great if there could be other courses that goes more deeply analyzing the music of each period.

One comment about Coursera is that it is irritating that the quiz cannot be saved if you don't pay up front. I like to sample the course before deciding whether I want a certificate. By the time I decided I like the course I was too far along to want to go back and retake the quizzes.

By Harry M

Jul 24, 2020

This course was excellent! Dr. Wright's presentations were uniformly clear and interesting. I particularly appreciated the fact that he is not a 'classical music snob'! By that I mean, Dr. Wright was able to convey his love of the classical without being condescending towards the more 'popular' pop music. I learned or re-learned (and hopefully retained) a vast amount of information. I must say that I did not partake in discussion groups nor did I read the accompanying textbook or watch many of the suggested YouTube videos. I took this course during the COVID-19 pandemic and the course was an excellent way to focus on beautiful music during this rather dark period of the virus. Not a fan of some of what I thought were confusing quiz questions, but that's OK.

By Natacha M

Jul 17, 2020

Excellentissime ! Un merveilleux mix entre une pédagogie à la portée de tout un chacun et l'exigence artistique nécessaire dans ce domaine. Le professeur est en plus absolument charmant et drôle, on s'y attache très vite et ça aide à aller au bout ! Un seul regret : que les XXe et XXIe siècles ne soient pas davantage explorés. Peut-être pour un autre mooc ?

Excellent! A wonderful mix between a pedagogy within the reach of everyone and the artistic requirement necessary in this area. The professor is also absolutely charming and funny, we get attached to it very quickly and it helps to go to the end! Only one regret: that the XXth and XXIth centuries are not further explored. Maybe for another mooc?

By Mingkai Y

Aug 8, 2019

Great course! I enjoyed a lot from the journey of western classical music from medieval till contemporary. The teaching style of Dr. Wright is engaging and accessible for beginners. I will come back to the lectures and the YouTube lists of full pieces of music even after the completion of the course. This course further develops my interests in music, and I started playing keyboard synthesizer during the course and am learning music theory. The only thing that maybe could improve is the quizzes. Currently, all the quizzes are multiple choice questions mainly on musical terminology. It would be even greater to have more listening exercises and different kind of assignment like peer reviewed writing.

By Andrey T

Oct 7, 2020

I studied piano for a few years as a kid and grew up loving classical music. I don't know if it was because of my music education or despite of it but I am fond of classical music and I regularly go to concerts, operas etc. I have my favorite classical composers, such as Mozart, Haydn and Chopin, and I know their works quite well.

However, I never went through a systematic, end-to-end introduction to classical music before. There were mandatory "musical literature" classes in my musical school but they were awfully boring, and I didn't get much out of them. This course filled this gap in my musical education, and I can only wish I had someone like Prof. Wright teaching music when I was a kid.

By Zhe L

Oct 31, 2016

It took me a long time to finish all the videos and quizzes. Great lectures. I need to watch some videos twice or even more times to fully understand the content. And sometimes when I go back and watch a previous video again I can develop deeper understandings of the content in it. The professor gives great comments on music works that help students understand. I wish I could develop such insights sometime. Music theory is interleaved with music history which is great, with the only problem that sometimes too little training is provided (e.g. asking students to distinguish triads in the quiz can be difficult for those who learn the concepts for the first time and do not have training before).

By Amelia O

Apr 19, 2024

I have enjoyed much more than I could imagine! I love Classic music but had no clue about music itself. This did not interfere in enjoying every bit of the course. Professor Wright was incredible, amazing and a joy to have him as a teacher! The course was so rich and interesting in so many aspects . If it was about history, architecture, paintings and social turbulence along history, about composers and so much! I am so thankful to Professor Wright about his warmth, kindness, acting skills (!!), smiles he put in my face in so many times while listening to him, laughter, that also happened!! I am so grateful to have had the joy of being part of his class. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

By pierre

Mar 27, 2021

Thank you so much to Professor Craig Wright for these wonderful and engaging brief lessons. I have, like so many people, spent time at my piano or on my guitar enjoying music in one form or another throughout my life, but this course has opened yet another door to me as to how I really listen to music and to gain even more appreciation of it. I am in awe of all the great talent of the instructors and at the same time of their humble attitude as they relay the material of the course. My playlist has somewhat changed as a result of this course as I have so much to explore and can only look forward to more discoveries. Thank you again to all involved for making this possible. Pierre Wery

By Mario C

Jul 12, 2020

First of all, thanks to Yale University and Professor Craig for the wonderful Introduction to Classical Music course.

This course helped me understand why I feel the way I feel when I listen to some pieces of classical music. I have always loved listening to classical music, but I had not had the opportunity to learn about music. After the course, I understand a little more about my satisfaction when I listen to classical music.

Speaking about the course, I have to admit that it was a real challenge for me, because I am not an English speaker. This fact obligated me to watch at least 3 times each video. Despite the language difficulties, the course was a real pleasure for me.