Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

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Coming Next on Patreon

It has been a week since my roll out at Patreon, and I have been awed and no small bit humbled by the response.  I thank each and every one of you who have signed on.  As per my listed Patreon benefits I would take this opportunity to list my “Principal” patrons and “Deities”: Principals: Gary Cohn Dr. Judith Davis Leigh O. Harper Ernie McWilliams James Rea William Mark Thompson Deities: Gregg Garbin Bennett Markel Mickey Urdea Lis Young A heads up on what will be appearing on my Patreon page over the course of the next week:  I have managed to dig up and digitize a television advertisement for my Teaching Company/The Great Courses survey “How to Listen to and Understand Great Music” from 1993.  It’s a bit painful for me to watch: I weighed 30 pounds less than I do now; I had all my hair (including a very large moustache); and I wore contacts.  I looked good, but most painful of all, I looked young.  The production values back then in the early days of The Teaching Company were, well, let’s say minimal: I’m working from notes without a set, with only a blackboard and an upright… 

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Robert Greenberg Joins Cole Cuchna on the Break It Down Show

Robert Greenberg joins Cole Cuchna of the Dissect Podcast on the Break It Down Show. Part One Part Two Related Courses

Robert Greenberg’s The Great Courses Available for Direct Download!

Dr. Robert Greenberg, best selling creator of audio and video courses for The Teaching Company/The Great Courses since 1993, is now offering those courses for direct download, right here on RobertGreenbergMusic.com! These courses are crafted and produced for lifelong learners and offer a learning experience that goes far beyond anything that can be achieved merely by placing a camera in a classroom. The 27 courses currently available constitute a full-blown musical curriculum, a curriculum that divides the courses into “basics” and those that “dive deeper”. Explore these categories below: The Basics How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, third edition. This is The Great Courses’ “Music 101”, 48-lecture survey spans nearly 2500 years of Western music, from the music of ancient Greece to the year 1913. (FYI: this course was named by Inc. Magazine as being “one of the ten great leadership classics you’ve never read”, or watched as the case may be.) How to Listen to and Understand Great Opera.  This series offers a broad survey of the single most important genre of Western music to have emerged over the last 400-plus years, opera. Understanding the Fundamentals of Music. This course expands on the vocabulary and listening skills… 

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Music History Monday: J.S. Bach, Jailbird

Exactly 300 years ago today – on November 6, 1717 – the great Johann Sebastian Bach was tossed into jail and spent nearly a month cooling his heels courtesy of his boss, Prince Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar. You see, in 1717, a working-class artisan like Bach did not mouth off to the boss. And that was the crime for which an unrepentant Bach served his time. Some perspective There are some precious people who so well represent the best of our species that merely mentioning their names makes us nod and smile: Da Vinci and Michelangelo; Shakespeare and Dickens; Newton and Einstein; Lincoln and Churchill; Ruth and Mays; Gandhi, King, and Mandela. If we were to ask the composers Mozart, Beethoven, Clara and Robert Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schoenberg, Stravinsky – and even that nasty French snothead Claude Debussy – whose was the most precious name in the history of musical composition, they all would have said – without a moment’s hesitation – Johann Sebastian Bach. It’s a sad irony that Bach never felt this love in his lifetime. On the contrary, in his own lifetime – which ran from 1685 to 1750 – his music was considered by most of… 

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Robert Greenberg Returns to the Break It Down Show

The Break It Down Show hosts Robert Greenberg after the recent launch of the new The Great Courses series “Music as a Mirror of History”:

On The Torch Live with Ed Leon

As I mentioned in my post of July 1, my next The Great Courses/Teaching company course – “Music as a Mirror of History” – is scheduled for release on Friday, July 22nd. It was recorded in January and February of this year and has been in post-production since. Since it’s my gob that’s on display throughout the finished course, it is all-too-easy to overlook the role played by the incredible crew of professionals who were tasked with producing the course. Well, overlook them we cannot; it’s an absolute truism in the media and the performing arts that we are only as good as the good people whose job it is to make us look good. My thanks to everyone who was involved with the production and a special call-out to my producer, Jaimee Aigret; my editor, Cat Lyon; and my directors, Jonathan Levin and Jim Allen. Thank you, my friends, for making The Great Courses GREAT. For anyone with 17 minutes to burn, I did a Google Hangout/Facebook Live interview with my bud Ed Leon of The Great Courses on Friday, July 1, in which we discuss the new course in some detail:

Recording Music as a Mirror of History

Photos from the recording session from my upcoming course for The Great Courses — Music as a Mirror of History:

Two Top Audible Best Sellers!

My apologies up front for this entirely gratuitous, self-serving, pat-myself-and-The-Great-Courses-on-the-back entry, but this sort of thing does not happen very often (at least not to me), so I’m making hay while I can. Audible.com has just released its current “best seller” non-fiction audio books list, and two of my pieces – “The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works” and “A Brief History of Holiday Music” are on it, at numbers 5 and 9 respectively. Here’s the Nonfiction list – click to see the full listing: Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy, narrated by the author (Blackstone Audio, Inc.) Fry’s English Delight: The Complete Series by Stephen Fry, narrated by Stephen Fry (Audible Studios) The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome by Susan Wise Bauer, narrated by John Lee (Audible Studios) Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen, narrated by Eric Michael Summerer (Tantor Audio) The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works by The Great Courses, narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg (The Great Courses) Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, narrated by the author with Greg Daniels and… 

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We are all Parisians

It has been said that “Italy gave us the Renaissance and France just about everything else”. It’s a statement that the opera composer Giuseppe Verdi – arch Italian nationalist that he was – would have agreed with entirely. Over the course of his career Verdi lived in Paris for a number of years and profited mightily from the Parisian operatic establishment. And while this straight-shooting, matter-of-fact Italian from the Po Valley was often at odds with his French hosts (“I have lived long enough in France to understand how the French make themselves insufferable by their insolence”), he also understood that Italy and France needed to stand side-by-side in the face of German aggression (“But whoever considers himself to be truly Italian must be above such [Gallic] pinpricks”). Verdi watched the progress of the war between France and Prussia – the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 – with undisguised horror. In a letter written to his friend, the Countess Clarina Maffei on September 30, 1870, immediately after the French defeat at Sedan, Verdi said that it was hard to adequately describe: “The desolation in my heart over France. France has given liberty and civilization to the modern world. Let us not… 

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Unique Contest for Piano Composers and Arrangers

Sheet Music Plus, home to the world’s largest online sheet music selection, and San Francisco non-profit, Composers Inc., today announced a piano composition contest. Professional Steinway pianists at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Walnut Creek and San Francisco will showcase winning pieces and winners will each receive a $300 award, along with a $200 travel stipend should they choose to attend the concerts. Starting today, composers and arrangers can submit original piano compositions among four different categories to the SMP Press platform. SMP Press allows users to upload and sell their original sheet music and MP3s on the Sheet Music Plus website, earning 45% in royalties. Contest submissions are welcome through November 6, 2015. “We are very excited to be partnering with Steinway, the world’s piano leader and nonprofit, Composers Inc. to encourage original and creative piano composition,” said Jenny Silva, CEO of Sheet Music Plus. “Sheet Music Plus has always taken pride in the original work of its member musicians. This contest allows us to celebrate and promote our independent community of composers and arrangers.” “As an advocate for living American composers, Composers Inc. is proud to be partnering with Steinway Piano Galleries of the San Francisco Bay Area… 

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