Michael Tilson Thomas - "Keeping Score" Web Site

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Screenshot: Eroica in cultural/historical context
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Screenshot: As MTT conducts, see details of the score in real time. Each color represents a key change.

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Screenshot: the building blocks of Eroica’s first theme

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Screenshot: MTT connects four parts of Tchaikovsky’s biography to the 4 movements of his 4th symphony

Just a quick post today to recommend the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score website.

Keeping Score is a program by Michael Tilson Thomas that combines live performances, DVDs, PBS programs and a multimedia website to focus in depth on a few pieces and why they are important. This is an ideal resource for John’s “What to Listen for in Classical Music” and “Intro to Music Literacy” students, but this former music grad student enjoyed playing with it too.

The mini-sites offer historical context, lots of pictures, videos of MTT discussing the music, and the opportunity to watch him conduct passages while watching a musical score with helpful annotations. For example, you can watch the key modulations in the exposition of the Eroica on a  color-coded circle of fifths.

So far, the  program has covered:

  • Beethoven’s Eroica symphony
  • Copland and the American Sound
  • Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
  • Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony
  • “Primal Moves” - an introduction to what might be called the underlying “connective tissue” of music.

Because of the technology used on the website, you need the latest edition of Flash. (The page should prompt you to install it easily.) You also must allow popups to enter the various subject area sites.

Preview the Keeping Score shows »
Episode 1: Beethoven’s Eroica »
Episode 2: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring »
Episode 3: Copland and the American Sound » 

Get the DVDs

Keeping Score: MTT on Music DVD Keeping Score:
MTT on Music

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