By Kira Grunenberg
It seems ironic that fans love to [re]discover songs they’ve heard many times before, but classical music, with its terrible misnomer of a genre, tends to intimidate some people away from approaching the style. For discovery purposes, the common trope tends to be, “it all sounds the same.” With an entire genre presented boasting a massive amount of repertoire, crossing centuries, and referencing names that are often difficult to pronounce, where does a newcomer to the style start? Should they decide to give orchestral and instrumental material a try?
Coincidentally, there is a relatively new app that addresses both the above irony and “problem” at hand: the ClassiCal Music Calendar App by Diana Ziegler of the Germany based, Andante Media.
Back in 2012, SoundCtrl featured two apps with a calendar-related focus–Stagedom and Sound Calendar—but ClassiCal’s differentiation comes from its provisions for non-invasive educating and passive, approachable discovery of classical music. Originally launched in December of last year for iPhone, this app, which has since expanded to iPad and iPhone 5 optimization, just updated last week to provide a better experience for iOS 7 and better VoiceOver functionality.
Since the composers of the featured music on ClassiCal are long deceased (sorry, Beethoven will not be performing live at Madison Square Garden next month), this calendar is not about marking down a future show, as is the case for many other music-calendar hybrids. Instead, ClassiCal acts more like an informative classical consultant, showing the current date and a scrollable list of musicians and composers who were either born or died on that day in years past–much like an “on this day in history” guide. An info button placed in each birth/death listing takes users to the individual’s respective Wikipedia entry, making it much easier to get the quick rundown on who the person was, and for what they are best known. This simple organization of information helps users avoid feeling overwhelmed by esoteric text.
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