Something for Everyone

Exploring Music
Exploring classical music isn’t always easy. Unlike soul music, jazz, or rock ‘n’ roll, classical music’s history covers centuries, from the first known instances of musical notation through Stravinsky and beyond. As such, the curious beginner may be in need of a guide. In’s “Classical Music Periods” section, one finds just such a guide. The clean, easy-to-parse layout guides readers through the stages of classical music’s evolution, from the earliest extant music through the modern period. Each step of music’s evolution is accompanied by a description and a list of composers or pieces to explore. Both seem helpful for contextualizing and understanding the trajectory of classical music, whether it is baroque or romantic, modern or medieval. A list of “related articles” at the side offers fascinating insights into areas relating to classical music.

Behind the Music
The world can always benefit from seeing intimidating truths made easy to grasp. The Method Behind the Music addresses an issue that almost every music lover knows they will have to confront at some point: music theory. That knotted system of scales, keys, clefs, intervals, chords, and tones is not easy to navigate, and many will need a guide. This website aims to be that guide. With pages on notations, key signatures, and tablature, as well as a fully stocked dictionary of musical terms, the website is fully equipped to help its readers navigate even the most austere of terrain. Of particular interest is the “the physics of music” section, which breaks music – breaks sound – down to its component parts to show how it all comes together.

Something Different
It seems easy to focuses on 20th century Western rock ‘n’ roll, and to forget that there’s more to music than the talented bands and artists of that timeframe. The Metropolitan Museum’s article on musical instruments from East Asia serves as a much-needed broadening of horizons. Its list of Japanese and Chinese musical instruments (and artistic representations of musical instruments) is designed to enlighten, surprise, and entertain those curious about a side of music they may not have been familiar with before. Each entry comes with a picture of the item and an informative essay for those interested in searching out more on music.

A Special Glossary
Ever wanted to know what an “andante” is? What about a “scherzo?” Well, the San Francisco Classical Voice’s glossary of musical terms has something to share for those who are interested. Its wealth of definitions is extensive, and its usefulness and interest are immediately apparent. The website is carefully and elegantly designed, with lists of words whose definitions only appear when clicked. This reduces clutter, and foregoes the tedium of clicking back and forth between the main page and pages for individual definitions.

by Omar Gheith