A defining factor of classical music is the fact, that it is first written by a composer and then performed by musicians. The score is therefore a central element for those who perform the music. But it can also be a tremendous help for the listener to understand what’s in the score. But what, if you can’t read it?

A very smart innovation in that context comes from Hannah Chan-Hartley, the Managing Editor and Musicologist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the creator of the Visual Listening Guide. She invented a graphic system to enable everyone to follow the main lines of a musical score.

TSO Visual Listening Guide “The guides are intended for print format, and appear in the TSO’s program books,” Hanna wrote me in an e-mail the other day. “The aim is to create a kind of “map” of the structure of the symphonic work, showing the presentation, development, and recurrence of the main melodies of the piece and the instruments that play them. The guides were introduced in our 15/16 and I’ve created 14 to date.”

Hannah is the winner of the 2016 KANTAR Information Is Beautiful Bronze Community Award (based on public vote).

She is also shortlisted for the Classical:NEXT 2017 Innovation Award  in 2017.

Here you find  an extensive report about the Listening Guide .

Here  you find an introduction of how to read the listing guide .

And here is a link to information on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra‘s homepage: https://www.tso.ca/listening-guides

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