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A Symphony in Four Movements: Online Resources for Music Lovers

Symphony, violinist ready to play notes

Not too long ago, if you wanted to experience music from your library, your options were limited to checking out CDs or DVDs of your favorite artists and performances. One drawback to this is the fact that the title you’re looking for may already be checked out. But have no fear! You library card is now a key to many great online resources to give you your music fix - all available without having to wait.


Mvt. I: Kanopy

You may already know Kanopy as a hub for great art house cinema and informative documentaries. But did you know that it is also a great way to experience music? With Kanopy you can check and stream up to 6 titles a month, with unlimited viewing of each title for 72 hours after checkout. These titles can be played on your browser, on the Kanopy App, Chromecast, Apple TV, and Roku.

I think Kanopy is a great way to learn about music, especially as a way to learn more about the art form itself and the people who make performances possible. One of my favorite titles is The Curse of the Gothic Symphony. This film follows the journey of a fanatical and eclectic group of music lovers who aspire to break the curse behind British composer Havergal Brian's notorious First Symphony. At over two hours long and requiring two orchestras, four brass bands, and five full choirs, it is regarded as the Mt. Everest of classical music.


Mvt. II: Access Video on Demand

Access Video on Demand is a great resource that has been available for a while. You can stream educational videos, documentaries, public television specials and more from your browser. It also contains a great selection of live musical performances.

One of my favorite selections is a live performance of Mahler’s incredible Symphony No. 5. It is expertly conducted by Claudio Abbado, who leads the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. With Access Video on Demand you can see this and many other great symphonies being performed by some of the greatest ensembles in the world.


Mvt. III: Hoopla

Let’s say you’ve found an artist or composer that you really enjoy and you’d like to explore more of their work. Hoopla is a great resource because you can download up to 6 albums per month on the app and stream them for 7 days from the borrowing date. This is a great way to sample and explore some really great music. One of my favorite recordings available on Hoopla is of the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.


Mvt. IV: Lynda.com

If all this listening has inspired you to write the next great American masterpiece but you don’t know the first thing about clefs and chords, Lynda.com has you covered! With your library card you can access thousands of courses on a wide variety of subjects, including elementary music theory and harmony. Once you finish your work, you can even learn how to get it published and performed with courses on publishing and licensing. Sign into Lynda.com and get started today!

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