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Lecture 1

Introduction to Music Appreciation

"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music. They should be taught to love it instead."  

—Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971) 


The Elements of Music, part 1 

Over a five-lecture sequence, we will explore the elements of music - music broken down into its individual component parts : Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Texture, Timbre and Form. 

This first lecture provides an introduction to this material via a short history of rock and roll, followed by the first of these components - rhythm.


Topics covered

  • overview
  • preliminaries
  • brief history of Rock and Roll
  • recognizing Style
  • rhythm



  • learn to distinguish styles from one era to another
  • learn to distinguish styles from one culture to another
  • preliminary understanding of rhythm
  • listening more attentively for basic elements of music



  • watch lecture 1 (in multiple parts for quicker download)
  • review previous chapters, as necessary
  • read textbook, Chapter 1-2
  • As you are reading your textbook, go through the Listening Exercises in textbook sequence, listening to the examples provided.
  • listening guides
  • regarding developing listening skills: you should be in the habit of developing your listening skills early in the game - the assignments will get more complex through the semester and you may find yourself unable to keep up. As simple as these early assignments may seem to some of you, they will help to keep you on the right track, and help you develop the skills required for a greater appreciation in listening to music, including the music that you listen to for your own enjoyment. Of course, those objectives are in total sync with the success you hope to have in this class. Remember that your ability to recognize the music on your CDs will be tested and will, of course, impact your grade.


Audio / Video lecture

  • click lecture segments below in sequence
  • presented in several segments to reduce download time
  • total lecture time: approx. one hour 15 minutes (all segments included)

Lecture 1.1 Introductory Overview (open to the public)




Lecture 1.2 A History of Rock and Roll, part 1



Lecture 1.3  A History of Rock and Roll, part 2



Lecture 1.4 The Elements