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Do You Speak Music?

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Do You Speak Music? course photo

Do You Speak Music?

Gabriel Gloege's picture
Course organiser: Gabriel Gloege
About the Course Organiser: 

I'm a jazz musician and business writer living in New York City and married to a classical pianist. We've both met and worked with so many people who say things like, "I don't have a musical bone in my body" or "I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket".

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Music is as natural to humans as language, but in most cases people simply lack the exposure and the context to realize this. My aim is to eliminate this notion and show as many people as I can that music is simply a language... and anyone can speak it.

No of Seats: 
Course Status: 


Gabriel Gloege's picture
selin safak's picture
Rafael Escamill's picture
dj zero's picture
dj ze
Carlos AntolĂ­n Lucas's picture
Jessica Carswell's picture
klaus consine's picture
gokhan sivrikaya's picture
Audrey Driver's picture
If music is a language, can you learn how to speak it WITHOUT being a musician? (Spoiler Alert: yes, you can)


The course is founded on the concept that music is a language and anyone can speak it. And that you don't have to be a professional musician to hear music virtually the same way they do. You should take this course if you want to...

  • Understand the one law of physics that gives each instrument its unique sonic DNA
  • Find out what ping pong machine guns have to do with your ear drums
  • Discover the two things you do every day that determine the tempo of almost every song you've ever heard
  • Learn how Claude Monet illustrates the concept of Harmony in his paintings
  • Uncover the link between Ludwig van Beethoven and Gollum
  • Find out how to "see" the music in a city skyline
  • Discover the most important question in history and how it shaped our musical minds

This is not a course in music theory. It will not teach you how to play an instrument or compose a song. Rather, it is like a language course that will teach you how to speak a new language, but not necessarily how to write a poem or a play.

Learning objectives

There are 5 basic "parts of musical speech". The objective with this course is to understand what they are conceptually, learn how to identify them in music, and understand the role they play in making music sound the way it does.


Broadcast messages

Still Kicking 2011-05-31 13:33
Last Minute Office Hours 2011-05-08 17:41
How's Lesson 1? 2011-05-04 19:21
Two Clarifications 2011-05-01 21:21
Class is in Session!!! 2011-05-01 21:10


Hey Gabriel - the course idea

Philipp Schmidt's picture
Philipp Schmidt
Thu, 2011-03-17 06:10

Hey Gabriel - the course idea sounds great. Is your book available online already? I'd love to have a look. I bought "This is your brain on music" recently ... but haven't gotten around to reading it.

Hi Phillip. Thanks for your

Gabriel Gloege's picture
Gabriel Gloege
Fri, 2011-03-18 17:26

Hi Phillip. Thanks for your kind words. Dan's book is a fascinating read and really opened my eyes to the musical nature of the human mind. It also justified a lot of the conceptual rules and guidelines followed by most musicians by showing how they play on our fundamental brain structures.

As to my own book, it's an eBook manifesto that will be available for free as soon as I can get around to giving it some "online shelf space." For now it will be available soon as the syllabus to this course... assuming anyone actually signs up for it ;-)

hello everyone! i'm not so

klaus consine's picture
klaus consine
Thu, 2011-05-05 03:45

hello everyone! i'm not so sure if i am really a member of this course (i mean... if you are reading this please tell me)
anyway, what's the rules about linksharing? can we post links to grooveshark for the music? seems practical

Hi Klaus! I've just added you

Gabriel Gloege's picture
Gabriel Gloege
Fri, 2011-05-06 21:23

Hi Klaus! I've just added you to the course as a participant. I'm sorry for the confusion. This is the first time I've run this course (though it won't be the last!) and I'm still learning as i go along.

I've limited the class playlist to 6 tracks (1 from each of the first 5 students plus 1 from me) but we can have as many participants as we like. So please go ahead and download the tracks, check out the lessons, and start listening. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the material.

As far as grooveshark goes, sure, why not! I wan't actually aware of grooveshark (I mostly use or pandora) but I'll certainly be posting links to other tracks that I think illustrate important concepts. Though I'll keep the main focus of the tasks and activities focused on the course playlist.

Glad to have you with us!!

Is it still possible to join

dj zero's picture
dj zero
Thu, 2011-05-05 23:39

Is it still possible to join this class?

You're in!! Thanks for your

Gabriel Gloege's picture
Gabriel Gloege
Fri, 2011-05-06 21:26

You're in!! Thanks for your thoughtful note. I'm running to a rehearsal now but will respond in detail later tonight.

a funny and educational BBC

selin safak's picture
selin safak
Mon, 2011-05-09 09:16

a funny and educational BBC experiment: "How Musical are You?":