Parents' Guide to

The Orchestra

By Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Stellar videos, interactive features make beautiful music.

App iPad Paid Music
The Orchestra Poster Image

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The Orchestra is a stellar tool for learning about classical music and what it's like to be a classical musician. The features for viewing the performance are stunningly good. Users will be thrilled to toggle among the various ways to view the music as its played. The videos are especially remarkable: Few films of classical music performances take you inside the orchestra like this, and it's amazing to see the conductor's face and the players as they prepare, play, and rest. It's also great that there's such a wide range of musical styles represented and that the pieces are both familiar (such as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony) and less well-known (such as Lutoslawski's 1954 Concerto for Orchestra). It's a great gateway for kids and adults to explore familiar music in a new way and to discover new, equally remarkable pieces. The pages for each instrument and section of the orchestra are great too, and users can zoom and rotate high-resolution images of the instruments to explore them in detail.

The only thing that would make this app better would be even more features for personalization; for example, it would be great if kids could save their favorite instruments, highlight portions of the score, or even isolate and listen to the instruments in the piece one by one. Also, the sample sounds of some of the instruments are digitized instead of authentic. Considering all the available features, however, these are small details.

App Details

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