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Robert Greenberg Lectures

Discussion in 'Score Study Resources' started by Scott Mueller, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Not sure how everyone feels about Robert Greenberg's lectures on classical composers. I find them really entertaining and really educational. Most of the are available on Audible and at 1 credit, they are quite a steal compared what they cost other places.

    Has anyone listened, and what are your favorite of his titles?
  2. I've thought about it, but all of the bad reviews scared me off. That there were more stupid jokes than there was good info.
  3. I've listened to a few. I'll eventually get through everything as I find him quite knowledgable. He does make a good amount of jokes but I enjoy that since I can't listen to someone ramble about endless information/facts without a break; thus, his jokes and lite humor help me with that. You have to make learning fun otherwise it's just a chore and for me anyway, my brain will just turn off. I'm currently making my way through, "How to Listen to and Understand Great Music".

    Lectures are long, usually 40+ mins a segment or chapter. They have huge amounts of information in them though.

    My favorite so far is, "The Great Masters: Tchaikovsky". Mainly, because as many probably know by now, Tchaikovsky is my inspiration and teacher. I learned a lot because once you've studied someone's work you reach a stage where you need to know more about the composer themselves to even scratch the surface on understanding why a composer made the compositional choices they did.
    Martin Hoffmann likes this.
  4. @Dillon - I’m reading Tchaikovsky’s biography and when he was just five years old his father brought home an “orchestrion”. Apparently, it could play various opera pieces and could sound like many different instruments. So I go online to see what an “orchestrion” is and this is what they had 200 years ago. Can you imagine the excitement this would trigger in a little five year old?

    And later, in the 1900s they developed these amazing mechanical synthesizers.

    Quite amazing that people had these devices so long ago. And that may be how we got a Tchaikovsky!
  5. I got excited just watching that video! Tchaikovsky must've worn this machine down from using it so much.

    I read or learned from Robert Greenberg (can't remember anymore haha!) that Tchaikovsky if he wasn't playing the piano, or listening to his "orchestrion", he would be singing or tapping his fingers on objects like a little drummer. His childhood was basically living and breathing music.

    Just amazing whoever invented this machine. Thanks for sharing!
  6. If you're ever in Phoenix, AZ the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) has a few of these and they play them. It's a great museum, floors of instruments from all over the world.

    Do the lectures have any musical examples? Or are they just talking?
  7. I actually grew up 10 years of my life in AZ. :D

    In answer to your question of musical examples, yes! Plenty. Sometimes he'll just play part of it to show/prove his example or teaching. But sometimes you'll sit through and listen to whole thing if it's short.

    He goes over the 4th symphony of Tchaikovsky and rips it apart based on how Tchaikovsky wrote it. Not in so much of a musical (orchestration, composition, theory way), but more as in this melody or part represents him feeling lonely, or dreaming, or his homosexuality, or his drunkness... etc etc.

    Hope that helps.
  8. Cool, used an Audible credit on Stravinsky.
    Dillon DeRosa likes this.

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