MSO Learn (Free) by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is a music education app developed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO). The app immerses the user in the symphonic experience by teaching about orchestral instruments and by profiling 15 of the musicians who play in the MSO.
From the main menu, you are given the option to “Take Your Seat,” read interviews with MSO musicians or learn about the instruments directly from the instrument list. In the Take Your Seat section, you see a chalkboard style drawing of an orchestra layout. Here you will hear a song recorded live in concert by the MSO at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
Once you pick a section to learn about, cello or woodwind for example, you will be able to pick specific instruments from that section. The woodwind section has eight different instruments to learn about. When you select an instrument, you will see its name, a small description of what it sounds like and its role in the orchestra. You will also hear it being played solo so that you can experience its beauty as an individual. Each instrument has a recommended listening list of albums available in iTunes to add to your music appreciation.
While not flashy or feature-heavy, this free music app is a great way for newcomers to the world of the symphony to understand the semantics of an orchestra and learn about each instrument's role in the overall collaboration.
Overall, I highly recommend this app for anyone interested in the symphony with a beginner’s knowledge of how it all works. The recommended listening list is a great way to further explore your burgeoning interest in the classical arts.