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The Orchestra for iPad App Review

The Orchestra for iPad App Review

If you are already familiar with Touch Press you will know the developer has come up with some of the iPad’s most intelligent and informative apps and they have carried on this trend with their latest outing, The Orchestra. In fact, it is quite possible its best app yet. This is one for any fans of classical music, as well as anyone else interested in the workings of an orchestra, and it is available now from the App Store for $13.99, more than your average app but certainly worth the money.

The Orchestra is the result of a collaboration between the London orchestra Philharmonia and The Music Sales Group and both have played to their strengths to bring this in-depth exploration of orchestral music. The orchestra in question can be seen here playing eight pieces of classical music but this is more than just a concert video. As they play the camera puts you right up next to them and offers multiple angles to view from so you can really get a good look at an orchestra at work, something a real-life concert cannot always offer. You even get a unique view of the conductor that no expensive seat can give you.

But if you prefer, you can leave the video and watch a beat map instead, which presents the orchestra as a display of dots, each one representing a single musician. The dots flash on and off depending on when they are playing, which is fascinating to see. If you are willing to purchase further features then you can explore this even further and opt to hear just a select few musicians with the map.

As the music plays you can view the score, which scrolls across the screen, while conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and his musicians provide an optional commentary, which can be played as audio or subtitles.

In addition to the videos there is also an extensive guide that offers information on an encyclopaedic level. There is plenty to read here, as well as further videos in which various musicians educate you about the various aspects, such as the history of their instruments.

Touch Press may have many similar apps out but they are essentially augmented books when you strip away the content. The Orchestra on the other hand is a fully formed app that could not be printed as a book and offer the same experience. Of course it would not be the same without its music and this is a large part of the app but the other elements also play their part and it all adds up to a substantial package full of guides, media and information that really helps you understand orchestras.

Anyone with an interest in the subject should certainly consider downloading this. The information is extensive, the features plentiful and the music is, of course, excellent.

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