Classical music on the Internet? Sure thing.
Just bear one point in mind. As the Net becomes more
and more commercial, many music sites are there just to sell you
something, CDs mainly, but occasionally sheet music and even T-shirts.
We’ll ignore those here, unless they offer something extra — i.e.
So, where to start, then? By logging on to the Yahoo
search engine, natch. Luckily for us, one of Yahoo’s
sub-categories is Entertainment/Music/Genres/Classical. When we arrive
there we find that, in addition to an annotated selective list of sites
we can visit, our sub-category has been conveniently further subdivided
for us. Some of these subsections include:
awards and competitions
A relatively new site is
This superb site comprises, among other things:
|Hall of Fame (including a featured artists, and
biographical information on the major composers, together with
recommended recordings and sound samples to listen to)
Conservatory (educational environment for students
Fountainside (interactive area that features
recommended listings given by renowned musos)
Performance Center (including a FM radio station for
Of special interest is the
the official site celebrating the rich legacy of Leonard Bernstein
(photos, scores, letters, articles, audio and video clips).
Another site I like is
Classical Net. This
provides its own searchable index, plus the following:
|basic repertoire list
classical CD buying guide
recommended classical CDs
reviews & articles.
It isn’t much to look at, but
Composers does provide some quite well-written biogs. And despite
its name, there are entries for many performers also, like Beecham,
Domingo, Helfgott, Kreisler and Zukerman.
In case you were wondering if the
of Music and Musicians has an Internet site, the answer is yes —
up to a point. Like other reference works that feature on the Net —
the OED or Britannica, say — the full Grove is
not there free of charge. (If that were the case, not even libraries
would buy them in book form.) What you do get, however, are some
incomplete sample articles for immediate viewing, and some complete ones
for downloading if you register. There’s no charge for registering.
For you MIDI musicians, the best place to get
classical music for playing on your synthesizer or sound card is Classical
MIDI Archives. There are literally thousands of MIDI files to
download. Admittedly, a few are bloody horrible, but most are very good.
The most striking of these has to be the just-about-complete MIDI
performance of Scarlatti’s keyboard Sonatas. Well played by John
Sankey, all 525 of them, plus some “liner notes” by him. CMA
is a site that is improving all the time. I thoroughly recommend it
We can’t leave our topic without a reference to
Favorite Classical Music Bloopers, maintained by a music
appreciation teacher at Clemson University.
An example or two (language errors retained):
The Haydn piece [string quartet] was nice, but not
very moving or memorable. I understand that that is one characteristic
of classical music.
What did Bartok do to promote the folk music heritage
of his native land? He advertised on Public Television.
Define 'tempo rubato'. The tempo usually reserved for
a rumbha discovered by Chopin on a swing through South America?
[The announcer's] voice was rather soothing. For some
reason I had expected a pretentious and pompous male voice. She showed
none of these qualities and seemed like a very real person. Being a very
real person myself this lended to her credibility . . .