the sunday edition

20 Pieces of Music That Changed The World: Robert Harris

The Sunday Edition's musical guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey sign-posted by 20 classic pieces of music, from Beethoven to disco, and from Depression-era classics to rap.
Musicologist and broadcaster Robert Harris
One of the most popular features ever aired on The Sunday Edition, is a series called 20 Pieces of Music That Changed The World.

Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. These 20 pieces of music resonated so strongly, that they have entered the cultural firmament and stayed with us through the decades -- indeed, through the centuries.

Although the series has been unavailable for some time, we continue to receive requests for it. So we are delighted to be able to offer it to listeners again. Enjoy!

Please note: Due to copyright restrictions on the music, we are unable to offer any of Robert's material in podcast format, and we cannot make it available online to listeners outside of Canada. If you're outside Canada, a list of the music discussed can be found at the bottom of this post. 

Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 23:35

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 20:15

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 25:52

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 29:31

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 34:50

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 27:55

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 31:16

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 30:51

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 29:03

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 28:58

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 28:02

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 31:49

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 30:09

 

Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 29:11

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 28:54

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 31:38

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 32:40

 

Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 30:33

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 28:53

 
Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why each piece (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners. 36:28

 

Robert's picks for the best and worst Christmas music (December 2014)

The Great American Songbook April, 2015

Robert Harris' Picks:

  1. Elvis Presley's That's Alright Mama
  2. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi​'s La Serva Padrona
  3. We Shall Overcome
  4. Enrico Caruso singing Pagliacci
  5. Bob Dylan's set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival 
  6. Ludwig van Beethoven's Eroica
  7. Louis Armstrong's West End Blues
  8. Bob Marley's I Shot the Sheriff
  9. Public Enemy's Fight The Power
  10. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
  11. Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive
  12. Richard Wagner's The Prelude from Tristan und Isolde
  13. Gregorian Chants
  14. The Beatles' Please, Please Me
  15. Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring
  16. The Carter Family's Will The Circle Be Unbroken
  17. From the Broadway musical Show Boat, Old Man River
  18. The French national anthem La Marseillaise
  19. Charlie Parker's Ornithology
  20. Camille Saint Saens's Danse Macabre

ABOUT ROBERT: Robert is a long-time music journalist, writer, teacher and broadcaster.  From 2000-2008, he was the host and producer of "I Hear Music", a weekly show presented on CBC Radio 2. He is the author of two books, What To Listen For in Mozart, and What To Listen For in Beethoven.

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