A concert program is a selection and ordering, or programming, of pieces to be performed at an occasion, or concert. Programs may be influenced by the available ensemble of instruments, by performer ability or skill, by theme (historical, programmatic, or technical), by musical concerns (such as form), or by allowable time. For example, a brass ensemble will perform an "all brass" program, the pieces of which may be chosen by a theme, such as "all Bach", and the chosen pieces may be ordered so that they build in intensity as the concert progresses. Concert programs may be put together by ensembles, conductors, or ensemble directors, and are often explained in program notes.
The program note is a standard element of a concert where contemporary or classical music is being performed. Program notes serve two purposes: to provide historical and background information on the piece and, if necessary, the composer, and to give the audience some sense of what to expect, and what possibly what to listen for, when listening to the work. With the presentation of contemporary pieces, it is common to include notes provided by the composer. Programs may include information about, and quotes or commentary from, the composer, conductor, or performers, as well as provide context regarding the musical era. Programs may also include information about the programmatic or absolute content of the music, including analysis, and may point out details such as themes, musical motifs, and sections or movements.
- Guide to writing program notes for University of Wisconsin–Whitewater students
- Guide to writing program notes for University of Melbourne students
- Automatic Classical Music Programme Note Generator
- Archive of program notes for use by orchestras of educational and community arts organizations
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