I work with the San Francisco Symphony and wanted to let you know that its interactive Keeping Score web site just launched. The web site, www.keepingscore.org, is a companion piece to the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score television series on PBS which explores the stories behind classical music; the series features works by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Copland.
The web site allows you to dig into the score, listen as musicians share their insights, and learn about the lives of the composers, music theory and keys. The site gives an understanding of classical music thru the dissection of a score and the examination of the history, personal lives, and politics that created the music. You have to play with it to get a true sense of the capabilities, but here are some highlights from the section on Beethoven’s Eroica:
Learn about key, themes and markup – as the Eroica Symphony score plays you can choose to show keys, themes and markup on the screen. A video of the San Francisco Symphony in concert plays in tandem while you explore the score.
Beethoven’s deafness story – two video clips of Dr. Goodhill, from Hope4Hearing Foundation, simulate what Beethoven heard as he was going deaf and describes Beethoven conducting the 9th Symphony after he was deaf. Also included is a musical excerpt of how the 9th Symphony possibly sounded to Beethoven.
Each composer’s section on the Keeping Score web site launches a week before the program featuring them airs on television (Beethoven is already up and running as Keeping Score begins airing on PBS stations nationwide next week).
I spent a little time surfing around the Beethoven portion of the site and found it fascinating and very informative. I'd love to see the same treatment given to recent pieces!