Musicologist Dr. Hannah Chan-Hartley has created a series of visual listening guides with the goal of “enhancing the understanding of classical music through engaging visual design”. For this concert, we’re delighted to provide you with a Visual Listening Guide to Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.
What is the Visual Listening Guide?
The Visual Listening Guide is a new way to discover a symphonic work in a visually engaging and comprehensible manner, regardless of musical background. Created by musicologist Dr. Hannah Chan-Hartley, the Guide uses a distinctive blend of graphics, colour, and text to help you structure your listening of the piece—and thus, deepen your understanding of it.
The Visual Listening Guide is a kind of sonic “map” of a musical work. Providing a “big picture” view of the work’s form, the Guide shows when the main musical themes and motives first appear, are developed, and recur within a movement and/or entire symphony.
While there’s no one way to experience a symphonic work, a Guide to the composition’s structure can shed light on the composer’s creativity and help us understand and appreciate the various ways conductors and orchestras interpret it.
When do I use the Visual Listening Guide?
You are welcome to use the Visual Listening Guide during the live performance, at your discretion. Otherwise, it can be used, at your leisure, for personal study at home with any of your favourite audio or video recordings.