Tom Service explores how to get a piece of music off to a good start. What does the beginning of a piece tell us about the culture around it and the expectations of listeners.
The Listening Service - an odyssey through the musical universe with Tom Service. Join him on a journey of imagination and insight, exploring how music works.
Each week, Tom aims to open our ears to different ways of imagining a musical idea, a work, or a musical conundrum, on the premise that "to listen" is a decidedly active verb.
How does music connect with us, make us feel that gamut of sensations from the fiercely passionate to the rationally intellectual, from the expressively poetic to the overwhelmingly visceral? What's happening in the pieces we love that takes us on that emotional rollercoaster? And what's going on in our brains when we hear them?
When we listen - really listen - we're not just attending to the way that songs, symphonies, and string quartets work as collections of notes and melodies. We're also creating meanings and connections that reverberate powerfully with other worlds of ideas, of history and culture, as well as the widest range of musical genres. We're engaging the world with our ears. The Listening Service aims to help make those connections, to listen actively.
So where do we start? This inaugural programme takes "Beginnings" at its theme - how do you begin a piece of music?
Tom looks at a cornucopia of opening bars - from classical to pop, to see how composers grab our attention, and go on to keep us listening. With thoughts from composer Anna Meredith on the terror of the blank page, tune in and rethink music with The Listening Service..