What do we actually mean when we talk about 'classical music'? What is or isn't it? Read more
What counts as 'classical music'?
What do we actually mean when we talk about 'classical music'? What is or isn't it?
Rossini - Master Chef and Maestro
A celebration of 'Signor Crescendo' Gioachino Rossini, operatic genius and gourmand.
Concertos: All for one and one for all?
What is a concerto? Tom Service asks how they work and what it is like to be a soloist.
The Nutcracker - Strange Enchantments
Think The Nutcracker is a super-saccharine classic for the feelgood season? Think again.
How to Sing Classical - Vibrato!
Good vibrations or horrible wobbling? Why do singers use vibrato?
Who are the icons of classical music? And are they born or made?
Riffs, loops and ostinati - the art of repeating yourself!
Tom presses repeat - again and again and again ...
The Key to Keys
Tom Service asks why western music is in so many different keys and what exactly they are.
Can music be gendered?
Can you hear 'masculine' and 'feminine' in music?
The Double Bass
The elephant in the room? No, the Double Bass is much more.
Bruckner and the Symphonic Boa Constrictors
Is listening to a Bruckner symphony really like being crushed to death by a giant snake?
Anger in Music
Today at Sage Gateshead Tom finds out how music can induce, express and exorcise anger.
The Power of One
What special magic happens in music where there is no harmony?
Why are classical audiences so quiet?
Tom Service looks at why we are all so tense and silent during classical concerts. Shhhh!
Amateur musicians' vital role in music and performance over the last three centuries.
What is Sound Art? And why?
Tom Service considers the rise of Sound Art. Is it art music or something else?
Sound of the Underground
What does underground sound like? From earth-inspired music to sounds of the earth itself.
What's the point of practice?
Does practice make perfect? And what is perfect practice? Tom Service finds out.
Countertenors - classical rock gods!
A celebration of the male singers who can hit the high notes!
Better than background music?
Is music for theatre more than just a prop?
Why do babies love music?
Tom Service asks why we seem to love music from the day we're born - are we born musical?
Is complicated music better than simple music?
Tom Service looks at complexity in music - can we actually hear what's going on?
Olivier Messiaen and the Interstellar Call!
In a live edition of The Listening Service, Tom responds to Messiaen’s ‘Interstellar Call’
All the Tunes
After 1,000 years of written music, can there be any more new tunes?
The Music of the Night
Tom Service discovers what happens to music at night.
Al-Andalus: What makes music sound Spanish?
Tom Service looks for the essence of Spain in the music of later centuries.
Prog Rock - apotheosis or nadir?
Tom Service looks at Prog Rock, and asks: apotheosis of rock music, or vapid pomposity?
The Simple Truth
When is less more, and less less? How hard is it to achieve meaningful musical simplicity?
Turn up the volume, dial up the drama
Dynamics are crucial to the dramatic effect of music. Tom Service adjusts the volume.
The Real Red Priest
Tom Service goes beyond the cliches to explore the music of Antonio Vivaldi.
How to compose music
Where do you start? How do you carry on? What do you need to know?