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Dr. Anthony Brandt wins National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Connexions Course


Author Anthony Brandt has been awarded an Access to Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for his innovative music appreciation course on Connexions!

"Sound Reasoning" is a course designed to introduce listeners to classical and modern music. Music appreciation is usually taught in a historic, style-centered way. "Sound Reasoning" takes a new approach: It presents style-transcendent principles, illustrated by side-by-side examples from both traditional and contemporary music. The goal is to empower listeners to be able to listen attentively and think intelligently about any kind of music, no matter its style. Everything is listening based; no ability to read music is required. Technical terminology is kept to a minimum. "Sound Reasoning" was funded by grants from the Ken Kennedy Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts. The site can be accessed at or on Connexions here.

Last summer, Dr. Anthony Brandt developed a new portion of "Sound Reasoning" called "Hearing Harmony." This, too, takes an unconventional approach: Instead of teaching chord recognition, it trains listeners to listen for harmonic structure--for instance, when the music is diatonic vs. modulating. Dr. Brandt commented, "Hearing Harmony" isn't quite finished; I've still got to the add the modules on modern music." So, make sure to keep an eye out for new content in the future!

Dr. Brandt "was drawn immediately to Connexions," because "it was an opportunity to present an innovative approach in an innovative format, with the musical examples interpolated directly into the text". "Connexions' free access also gave me the chance to reach a far greater audience than through commercial print."

If you would like to train your ear with Dr. Brandt's course, visit!