||Jun 23, 2008 by Music
||The site introduces young audiences to the instruments in a traditional symphony orchestra through textual descriptions, images, and sound bites. Each instrument page also includes a short interview by a performer from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Each instrument, consistently, includes sound bites of its playing range, sound effects associated with its main playing techniques, and solo excerpts from well known musical pieces, appropriate to younger audiences.
Secondary orchestra instruments (e.g. saxophone, English horn, contrabassoon, etc.) are briefly presented during the discussions on the primary instruments in a given sub-family (e.g. clarinet, oboe, and bassoon, etc. respectively).
This is an extremely well designed resource in terms of both, content selection and structure, and presentation layout and navigability. Multiple distinct but interrelated and well integrated navigation paths are laid out, with the main content of the site being accessible from within multiple contexts.
Although the site is not as extensive or detailed as it may seem at first, it already has the infrastructure and design needed to allow easy and effective growth. In addition, most pages include requests for contributions by visitors, enhancing the possibility that this resource will continue to be updated and grow.
||Introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. Presentation of the various instrument families: strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion. Performance examples of appropriate orchestral music to highlight the various instruments and instrument families. Introduction to music listening and literature.
|Target Student Population:
||The intended audience and the audience that will get the most out of this site is, specifically, grade school students. This is clearly reflected, not only in the low level of detail/depth/sophistication of the information presented (level that may also be appropriate for adult beginner learners) but also in the language and overall tone used in the sites text portions, in the sound-bite selections, and in the graphics/images used to illustrate the musical instruments.
|Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
||The site is very well and efficiently designed, requiring no previous knowledge on the topic, and minimal computer and web-browsing skills.
|Type of Material:
||Collection / Reference Material that includes sound examples, simulations, and learning games.
a) under an instructors guidance it can function as a task-related learning tool,
b) it supports free exploration, without the need to follow a single, progressive path, and
c) it offers several interactive games that make learning fun and motivating.
||Humanities, general music, and music appreciation courses.
||Latest I.E. or Firefox browser with the Real Player plug-in. The site uses http protocol access to .ram files to stream audio content, so there is no need to configure the browser and plug-in for the currently more common, rtsp protocol.