Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

New Webcast Courses Coming 2016!

Lillian and Daniel

My two youngest kids – Lillian and Daniel – toasting their father’s webcam venture. (Okay, not really: they were visiting the Statue of Liberty in July with their mom and our dear friend Kimberly Gott, but darned if they don’t look like they’re raising a lemonade-flavored torch of knowledge to us all!)

Thanks in very large part to the incredible feedback and suggestions I received from you wonderful people, I have gone a long way towards formulating the nature and content of the on-line courses I will self publish and begin to release during the first quarter of 2016.

I will be making webcasts, and not webinars. Webinars take place in real time, and while they can be recorded for subsequent viewing, downloading, etc., they are fraught with peril. As in any live broadcast, glitches, technical difficulties, misspeaks and such are not “correctible”. The technology is, likewise, problematic: none of the software that powers webinars seems to be even remotely idiot-proof. As a self-avowed techno-idiot, that constituted “STEE-RIKE THREE!” for webinars.

So webcasts it will be. Each individual webcast “lecture” will run about 30-minutes in length. Each 30-minute lecture will be broken down into three roughly 10-minute “modules” that can be listened to individually or straight on through.

The first two courses I will create will consist of 12 30-minute lectures. The first will be entitled “Schubert: Chamber Music for Strings” and the second “The Late String Quartets and Quintets of Mozart.” (Yes, I am aware of the fact that these titles are about as sexy as a cold sore. I’ll work on them.)

The Alexander String Quartet has graciously offered to provide musical examples for these courses, for which we bless them, and their children, and the children’s children, and anyone else they might deem worthy of a blessing. Additionally, in order to relieve the tedium of those staring at my rapidly aging gob, I will provide illustrations where appropriate, providing I can find such illustrations in the public domain.

As for pricing, I am thinking along the lines of $5.00 per lecture, which would put a 12-lecture course at $60.00, on par with the higher priced audio-only Great Courses surveys offered on Audible. Unlike Audible courses however, mine will be downloadable in both video and MP3 audio formats.

So that’s the story as it presently stands. As I mentioned in a previous post, pending a successful rollout, I will tackle the music of the twentieth century and an extensive course on the piano music of Frédéric Chopin next. As usual, I will do my utmost to provide a balance between technical and non-technical material, with the understanding that different courses will lean in one or the other direction.


  1. Robert, have you thought about a course in music theory? John Mesure

  2. Dr. Bill Creasy

    I look forward to your rollout, Bob, and of course, I’ll subscribe.

    Once you finish your first course as a webcast, you might consider placing the video version on Amazon in the “movie/TV” category. The full course would have 12 “episodes,” and people could buy or rent each episode singly, or they could buy/rent the whole course at once. Amazon gives you a potentially vast audience, and its tie-in with Audible allows your material to be “recommended” when people are searching for other similar content on either Amazon or Audible.

    You could also deliver the finished product as weekly audio Podcasts through iTunes: free to listen, but charge for downloads. Again, this greatly increases your potential audience for very little cost.

    Both have worked nicely for me.

    Since you can’t capture emails from Amazon, Audible or iTunes, make sure you include a creative method for your listeners to offer you their email addresses.

    Good luck on the launch–and sign me up!

    • David McNaughton

      I strongly support this idea of exploring creative ways (e.g., Amazon, iTunes) to get these materials to your audience. Your lectures on Audibles are outstanding, and I frequently recommend them to friends – it would be great to have an easy way for people to find/order them

  3. Frederic Patenaude

    Looking forward to both!

  4. Jo Sefina, a course in which Robert could demonstrate a musical phrase or passage with notes on a Staff and analyze the chord structure, chord leading etc. Great Courses has math courses (Calculus etc.) that require some knowledge of Algebra and Trig. I don’t see the problem with having a little more advanced music course.

    • I second that. Would love a sequel to Understanding Fundamentals of Music. Please consider offering more advance music theory, composition, music analysis lectures!

  5. How can i subscribe CANT WAIT

  6. David McNaughton

    I look forward to your new work, it would be great to have a course on Arnold Schönberg and his impact on composers and performers