New Britten app puts modern twist on the Young Person's Guide

Free app aims to introduce Britten's music to a new generation in his centenary year

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra app
Published: July 3, 2013 at 9:08 am

A new iPad app aimed at introducing young children to the symphony orchestra through Britten's A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra has been unveiled to mark the composer's centenary.


The app, which is available on iTunes for free, includes a specially recorded performance of Britten's work by the Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder, as well as a host of games and quizzes including an aural 'guess the instrument' quiz and a 'Be the composer' game. (Have a go below!)

The app also includes interviews with musicians and Sir Mark as well as a video of the recorded performance.

The app also includes specially commissioned illustrations by Sara Fanelli.

Children - and the young at heart - can rearrange Britten’s score in the Fugue and Variation Games, test their knowledge of orchestral instruments or simply enjoy this fine recording while following the score.

The app is the result of a collaboration between the Britten-Pears Foundation, the Royal Northern College of Music and AVCO, a digital arts and technology company.

It will feature in the British Library exhibition Poetry in Sound: The Music of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), which runs until 15 September. The manuscript of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra will be displayed here for the first time as part of an exploration of Britten’s poetic and literary influences.

Richard Jarman, director of the Britten-Pears Foundation, said: ‘We started by asking how Britten would have done this if he were alive today and could use our modern technologies. Our answer has been to create an App that will give children and families lots of fun in exploring the orchestra and its instruments.’

The app is available now on iTunes and a version will be available on the Britten 100 website from September 2013.


Neil Smith

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