San Francisco Symphony
December 12, 2010 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore signature works by composers Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, and Dmitri Shostakovich in depth, and at their own pace. The interactive audio and video explores the composers’ scores and pertinent musical techniques as well as the personal and historical back stories.

Keeping Score includes groundbreaking and acclaimed interactives on composers Beethoven [prev], Stravinsky, Copland and Tchaikovsky. The site also includes an historical timeline that takes users deeper into the seven individual composers’ political, social, and cultural milieus as well as the musical scores for each of the featured symphonies.

The education section includes downloadable lesson plans created by teachers who have experienced the Keeping Score Education program.

The original PBS television programs are online as well:

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Ives Holidays Symphony
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
Beethoven's Eroica
Copland and the American Sound
posted by netbros (7 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
I remember coming across these last year when I was teaching the usual "Music History for Non-Majors" sequence. The use of a broad array of historical objects to contextualize the pieces is really helpful and engaging, although the heavy-handed hermeneutic narratives forced onto the music can be a bit much.
posted by LMGM at 8:48 AM on December 12, 2010

I listened to the Eroica episode and the dude said:

"The First Movement is about Life!" Uh, okay, how does he know that?
posted by storybored at 11:39 AM on December 12, 2010

Cool stuff, thanks!

"The First Movement is about Life!" Uh, okay, how does he know that?

He doesn't. That's an nonsensical utterance. He may mean something like, "From biographical information, we know that Beethoven had the theme of 'life' in mind when he wrote this movement"


"Many scholars have interpreted this movement as saying something about life."


"Many listeners wind up thinking about life as they listen to this movement"


"There's an arbitrary symbol system, used by composers, and if you decode this movement using it, you get something about life."


"As someone who studies music, I'm telling you that if you think of this as saying something about life, you'll have a richer experience than if you don't."

I wish academics wouldn't just make bald statements like that as if they were facts. Students wind up feeling stupid. "I keep listening and I don't hear 'life' in it. What's wrong with me?" Nothing. "Life" isn't contained in the music.
posted by grumblebee at 1:10 PM on December 12, 2010

Still, this is wonderful use of the web. Media all together in bite sized pieces that positively force yu to engage with the subject matter. Its gonna be too little, but it is excellent for what it is.
posted by fcummins at 2:04 PM on December 12, 2010

I wish academics wouldn't just make bald statements like that as if they were facts.

And I wish that people weren't so damn literal-minded.
posted by speicus at 7:44 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Still, this is wonderful use of the web.

Agreed. Thanks for sharing LMGM.
posted by archivist at 6:52 AM on December 13, 2010

Wishing this site were iPad friendly.... (You'd think it would be, it's the San Francisco symphony)
posted by clark at 4:54 AM on December 15, 2010

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