Music at McGill U

Do you want to hear great musicians and musicologists talk about the music they love? Check out Music (website, iTunes), a video podcast from Montreal’s McGill University.

Unlike a lot of academic podcasts, these videos have great production values: beautiful camera-work and high fidelity sound. You can listen to members of McGill’s faculty and guest lecturers talk about music and then perform excerpts to illustrate their points.


Beethoven in 1818. Image credit*

Here’s the quick rundown on a couple of the lectures.

Beethoven’s Late Piano Works (website), Anton Kuerti.
Renowned pianist Anton Kuerti talks about Beethoven’s continuing efforts to grow as a musician, even late in life. Kuerti also makes the point that Beethoven, master musician though he was, did not excel at writing melodies. Instead he showed his virtuosity by taking very short motifs and spinning out inventive variations.

What is This Thing Called Jazz? (website), Gordon Foote.
Music professor and jazz musician Gordon Foote leads an entertaining session that explains and illustrates musical forms like 12-bar blues and 32-bar jazz.  You’ll never hear jazz quite the same way again.

Technical note: because the downloaded video files are very large, you might want to convert them to audio MP3 for listening on a portable player. You can convert to iPod-size video within iTunes (right-click on the file name and choose “create iPod version”), however the iTunes conversion process is very slow. For faster conversion, and conversion to MP3, check out the freeware Any Video Converter. (see How to download streaming audio and video/ Part 2).

Related post:
Listening to Music at Yale

*Image credit: Wikipedia. Public domain.
This entry was posted in Academic podcasts, Five-star professors, Lectures, Music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Music at McGill U

  1. I always use VideoLAN VLC media player to convert. The conversions take about 10 secs per file. VLC Mediaplayer is free software. (

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