An Introduction to Appreciating Classical Music [Ted Talk]

You can't begin to appreciate different whiskies or wines until you learn what the differences are – the major and subtle variations in flavor, body, production – it all factors into developing your own palate and discerning what you like and don't like.

Classical music is no different. To many it can appear boring when listened to on the surface without any guidance in what to look for. But you can't appreciate Slash's music-changing solo in Sweet Child O' Mine until you've heard how other musicians play lead guitar.

Here, Benjamin Zander, a conductor from the United Kingdom, breaks down Prelude in E Minor – Op. 28 No. 4 by Frédéric Chopin (pronounced sho-pan), which you'll no doubt recognize. He dissects different subtleties in instrumental music and offers a simple, and emotional, exercise.

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Andrew Snavely

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.