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I have no college background in music but I do enjoy history. Professor Greenberg was outstanding. I enjoyed every lecture and finished this course with new found appreciation for music. Not only did Professor Greenberg have a mastery of his subject but he was able to sprinkle in just enough humor to make it fun. What more can I say but you can not go wrong in purchasing this course.
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2019
I've listened to a number of Dr Greenberg's courses and I've enjoyed every single one of them. He's an engaging teacher with a delivery that I find entertaining. I remember many years ago taking Music History as freshman music student. Frankly, I wish this had been the course actually offered. I've always found, as a musician, you can not adequately interpret what a composer creates without having some understanding of that person's life and the events forming their worldview. This course brings that concept into proper focus. If you enjoy music and love history, or, if you love music and enjoy history, this course is for you.
Professor Greenberg has done a sterling job with this course. I was initially reluctant. Although my MA provided me with many perspectives from which to view history, music was not one of these. It wasn't that I doubted Greenberg, rather that I doubted whether my own grasp of music would be up to the task. I needn't have worried. He manages to weave between the historical record and the roles and contributions of the makes and users of music with a professional's grace. Not only was the whole thing interesting and with each element well chosen, but his moments of (Parisian?) irreverence spiced the whole thing up and made the style and approach unique in my experience. The only course that I have subsequently listened to a second time in its entirety, and then again in 'excerpt' mode during my spells in my car and workshop. Thoroughly good value.
I just finished this latest course of Prof. Robert Greenberg, a musical mentor for decades via his courses, whom I now have the pleasure to also know personally. Who knew that he was an accomplished historian too? This course, most unusual for Greenberg, is more about history than music, placing 24 musical pieces – many relatively unknown – within the context of historical events in which they were composed. With over 200 references, the course is rigorously academic and yet, typical of Greenberg, opinionated, irreverent and entertaining. He is an articulate speaker, a grand actor, a sensitive poet, and yes, forever the comedian. At one point he even utters a bulls*** cough as he describes some falsehood perpetrated by violinist Eduard Reményi upon the memory of his former colleague Johannes Brahms. Greenberg provides surprising new insights into historical events one might think they know well. In one instance a comment he made about Ottoman Turks (a subject I know very well) and their four hundred year rivalry with the Habsburg Empire took me by surprise. “How ironic,” he said, “that when they both collapsed, they did so as allies.” Indeed! I had never thought of it that way. There are many other similar epiphany moments in the course. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and highly recommend it to anyone.