The Essential Listening to Music

  • AUTHOR: Craig Wright
  • ISBN-13: 9781305113879 
  • Grade(s): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
  • 304 Pages  Paperback 
  • 2nd Edition  |  Previous Editions: 2013
  • ©2016     Published
  • Prices are valid only in the respective region


About The Product

Combining outstanding listening pedagogy with clear writing and cutting-edge digital resources, THE ESSENTIAL LISTENING TO MUSIC (with Download Card), 2e delivers a streamlined and succinct presentation of classical music that inspires a lifelong appreciation of music. Scholar and master-teacher Craig Wright focuses on the key concepts and works presented within a typical Music Appreciation course. Organized chronologically, the text discusses musical examples from each historical period within its social context--giving students a sense of a piece's construction as well as its historical and cultural meaning. Designed to develop listening skills and challenge students, the text's wide range of resources includes online Listening Exercises for most pieces in the text, streaming music, computer-enhanced Active Listening Guides, and chapterwide and critical thinking quizzes for the entire text. Students also can download music covered in the text directly to a music library, and instructors can customize the text to fit their specific needs by including pop and global music from the larger edition of LISTENING TO MUSIC. Fully integrated with MindTap, the Second Edition gives students the ultimate anytime, anywhere personalized learning experience--and provides instructors with gradable activities. This edition's MindTap also includes new learning objectives to help students focus on key topics, engaging new animations created by Stephen Malinowski to open most chapters, new critical thinking items in each chapter, individual YouTube players, and instant audio for most examples in the book.


  • A brief, streamlined version of Wright's comprehensive LISTENING TO MUSIC, the Second Edition of THE ESSENTIAL LISTENING TO MUSIC (with Download Card) offers a succinct 16-chapter presentation of Western (or classical) music.
  • Concise Listening Cues contain such key information as genre and form, "What to Listen For," and where to find full Listening Guides, interactive Active Listening Guides, and Listening Exercises in MindTap.
  • References in the margins direct students to the interactive MindTap learning path.
  • A renowned music historian, author Craig Wright has taught music appreciation for more than 30 years and leads Yale's online teaching initiative. By teaching the course every year--on the ground and online--he remains in touch with what today's students need to become personally engaged in the act of listening to music.
  • The musical repertoire selected by Prof. Wright for this brief edition is praised by reviewers. All musical selections are available for streaming and as downloads.
  • Popular music references are incorporated throughout, helping students easily relate classical music to music they are already familiar with.
  • Full coverage of women as composers, performers, and patrons of music exposes students to the significant contributions of women to the music world. Coverage of women composers includes Hildegard of Bingen, Barbara Strozzi, Clara Schumann, and Ellen Zwilich.
  • Instructor resources include lecture materials and Listening Guides for many additional works not covered in the text--giving instructors numerous options for teaching the repertoire they want.

About the Contributor

  • Craig Wright

    Craig M. Wright received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music in 1966 and his Ph.D. in musicology from Harvard University in 1972. He began his teaching career at the University of Kentucky and for the past forty years has been teaching 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 (also part of the offerings of Open Yale Courses); his large lecture course Exploring the Nature of Genius; and most recently his Coursera course Introduction to Classical Music. He is the author of numerous scholarly books and articles on composers ranging from Leoninus to Bach. Wright has also been the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Einstein and Kinkeldey Awards of the American Musicological Society, and the Dent Medal of the International Musicological Society. In 2004, he was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Chicago. And in 2010 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining fellow inductee, banjo player Steve Martin. In addition to LISTENING TO MUSIC and LISTENING TO WESTERN MUSIC, EIGHTH EDITION, Wright has also published THE ESSENTIAL LISTENING TO MUSIC, SECOND EDITION; LISTENING TO MUSIC, CHINESE EDITION (Schirmer Cengage Learning/Three Union Press, 2012), translated and simplified by Profs. Li Xiujung (China Conservatory, Beijing) and Yu Zhigang (Central Conservatory, Beijing), both of whom worked with Wright at Yale; and MUSIC IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, MEDIA UPDATE (Schirmer Cengage Learning, 2010), with coauthor Bryan Simms. He is currently at work on a volume titled MOZART’S BRAIN: EXPLORING THE NATURE OF GENIUS.

Table of Contents

1. The Appeal of Music.
2. Rhythm, Melody, and Harmony.
3. Color, Texture, and Form.
4. Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
5. Baroque Art and Music.
6. Late Baroque Music: Bach and Handel.
7. Introduction to the Classical Style: Haydn and Mozart.
8. Classical Forms.
9. Classical Genres.
10. Beethoven: Bridge to Romanticism.
11. Romanticism and Romantic Chamber Music.
12. Romantic Orchestral Music.
13. Romantic Opera.
14. Late Romantic Orchestral Music.
15. European Impressionism and Modernism.
16. American Modernism and Postmodernism.

New to this Edition

  • The Second Edition's pedagogy is fully integrated with MindTap--giving students the ultimate personal learning experience and providing instructors with high-value gradable activities like Listening Exercises and quizzes.
  • Delivering anywhere, anytime learning opportunities, MindTap's engaging, personalized online environment is accessible on laptops, tablets, and handheld devices. The points on the MindTap learning path are cued frequently in the text, wherever appropriate, to remind users to take advantage of its rich resources.
  • New learning objectives help students focus on key topics--and maximize their course success.
  • Created by renowned American composer Stephen Malinowski, of Music Animation Machine, animations provide engaging activities to open most chapters, quickly drawing students into the text material.
  • New critical thinking quizzes are integrated in MindTap for each chapter, helping students think more deeply about music while sharpening their analytical skills.
  • New videos and Active Listening Guides give students plenty of hands-on practice applying their new listening skills.
  • Offering additional flexibility, full Listening Guides are now incorporated into MindTap and include a print-PDF option.
  • Twelve new or reworked Listening Exercises provide in-depth quizzing on even more individual selections.
  • New individual YouTube players are included with the Second Edition's MindTap.
  • With just one click, new instant audio offers immediate access to most notated examples in the book.

Alternate Formats

Choose the Format that Best Fits Your Student's Budget and Course Goals

  • Media Edition
    ISBN-10: 1285856791  | ISBN-13: 9781285856797
    Price = $78.00
  • Loose Leaf
    ISBN-10:  1305642619 | ISBN-13:  9781305642614
    Price = $54.00