The great thing, and also the challenge with classical music is that it’s very deep. A forty-minute piece of music with no words, is something that you really never find in pop music. Where to begin understanding these amazing creations? You can always simply let the music wash over you, but if you’d like to dig deeper, here are some hints on how to proceed.
Begin by simply googling whatever piece you’re interested in! The first thing that pops up will normally be performances on youTube. Never before in world history has so much music been available at no extra cost (beyond the technology and internet connection) you’re already paying for. All standard classical works have many recordings on youTube, you can even compare them and find your favourite!
The next thing that will pop up is wikipedia, which will give you most of the information you’ll need. If you’re not clear on some of the terminology, click on the highlighted links for explanations. Most wikipedia articles have a section at the end called “External Links” which will lead you to relevant pages elsewhere on the net.
Some other useful classical music links:
Happy learning and surfing!
About Charles Demuynck
Charles Demuynck has guest conducted extensively in Europe and the U.S. and with the following Canadian orchestras: Orchestra London, Mississauga Symphony, Oshawa¬-Durham Symphony, Scarborough Philharmonic, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony, Etobicoke Philharmonic, Prince George Symphony, National Academy Orchestra, Royal Conservatory New Music Ensemble, Lethbridge Symphony, North York Concert Orchestra and the Philharmonie des Jeunes d’Ottawa-Carleton.
His CD of Beethoven’s Symphony #8 and Brahms’ Piano Concerto #2 with pianist Gamet Ungar and the Vama Philharmonic is available on iTunes.
His previous posts include: Music Director of the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, and City Centre Musical Productions (Mississauga), Assistant Conductor of the Knoxville (TN) Symphony, Music Director, Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra (LA), Director of Orchestras at the University of Evansville (IN), and Conducting Apprentice of the Hartford Symphony.
He is the Music Director of Masterworks of Oakville Chorus and Orchestra, and at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Oakville. He has also been Music Director at Stouffville United Church and Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, Mississauga. He has been OCO’s Music Director for 15 years, on and off, since 1995.
A native of Dawson Creek, B.C., Charles Demuynck holds a doctorate in conducting from the Hartt School in Hartford, Conn. He also holds conducting degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, and the University of Toronto.
In addition, he is an active composer, and his works have been performed on both sides of the Canada-U.S.border. OCO, Masterworks, Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Bach Elgar Choir of Hamilton, National Academy Orchestra, and Scarborough Philharmonic (upcoming), are among the groups that have performed his works.