How to navigate Best Classical Tunes with Voice Commands.
The speech recognition page, within the Best Classical Tunes website, allows you
to select any page from the site, or to play any music in the site, merely
by using your voice.
Currently this feature only works with Google's Chrome browser,
and is only supported on desktop PCs.
It features a dialogue in which a 'UK
Male' voice will respond to your
In addition, you can listen to any part
of this help page spoken by that same
voice. Just click any 'Listen
to voice' button. To stop
the talking voice, click the 'stop
voice' button, or simply press the 'X' key.
The speech page itself contains a brief
summary chart of the main keywords and
examples of how to use them. This help
and instruction page goes into more
For an able-bodied person, using voice recognition to control navigation can
still be a lot quicker than using the fly out menu.For example, to use the menu
to listen to the 1st movement of Beethoven's 5th symphony you would actually
have to have to use 2 mouse-clicks, about 3 or 4 page-down key-strokes, then
another 2 mouse clicks. You would go through 2 or 3 different tiers of the
menu hierarchy. Whereas, if you say this sentence reasonably quickly but
clearly into the microphone, you can hear the music almost instantly:-
the first movement
of Symphony number 5 by Beethoven
For people with a physical handicap to their arm, wrist, hand or fingers, this
system allows them to use their voice to control navigation, with an absolute
minimum use of the mouse or the keyboard.The page can be accessed from the
third item in the fly-out menu on the left 'Voice
Commands". Or click
Open the speech recognition page here.
Choosing a piece of music.
The key word to use if you wish to hear some music is play,
or perform. This will usually be the first word of your request, although this
is not essential. Perform should be used
if you want an entire work with multiple
If the music you desire is a folk tune, an easy-listening tune, a nursery rhyme
or any other type of music for which there is no specific composer, then all you
need to do is say play, and then sufficient words from
the title of the music to allow it to be uniquely identified. For example,
if you wish to hear The Old Folks at Home
(sometimes known as Way Down upon the Swanee River), then all you need to
say is play old folks because this uniquely identifies
the title within the Best Classical Tunes database. However, it will still work
if you are a bit long-winded but polite, and say please can
you play the old folks at home.
Or you can say play Michael row the boat and it will play a jazz arrangement of the
spiritual "Michael row the boat ashore".
If you want to hear a piece of classical music, it is most likely that you will
need to name the composer, although not always. To hear
a single movement of Tchaikovsky's sixth
symphony you will need to say play Tchaikovsky symphony No.6
3rd movement or
play symphony No.6 3rd movement by Tchaikovsky.
To hear all movements of this work, say
perform Tchaikovsky symphony No.6.
If you only say play symphony No.6
3rd movement this will result in lots of matches, because heaps of composers all wrote
a "Symphony No.6 3rd movement".In fact this is the message you will
hear spoken, and shown in the 'action taken' box:-
I found 4 tunes or works which match,
play symphony Number 6 3rd movement.
Please state the row number of your
desired tune out of this list, by saying
'number 1', or 'number 2', and so on.
Otherwise try again giving more detail.
Symphony No.6 in B minor Pathetique - 3rd movement by Tchaikovsky.
Symphony No.6 in C D589 3rd movement by Schubert.
Symphony No.6 in D 'Le Matin' Hob 1:6. 3rd movement by Haydn.
Symphony No.6 in F Op 68 (Pastoral) 3rd movement by Beethoven.
In the above scenario you will notice that the piece of music you really wanted
came up as first in the list. You will see a green play icon to the left of each
item in the list. To hear your Tchaikovsky symphony (3rd movement), either
say 'number 1', or
just click the green icon to the left of the this item in the list.
However, if the piece of classical music you want has a unique word or two in
the title, and also particularly if it has only one movement (basically
if it's a single piece of music) then it is much easier and quicker to get
the piece of music you want. For example, if you say:- play Coriolan
Overture you will hear straight away the Coriolan Overture opus 62
by Beethoven. This title is unique, because no other major composer has written
a 'Coriolan Overture'. Another fairly easy one is play Farewell
symphony 1st movement. This will play
Symphony No.45 in F# minor by Haydn "Farewell" - 1st movement. No other major composer has written
a "Farewell Symphony"
At any time whilst music is playing, you
can say 'stop', to stop it.
Finding the score, the themes, or a description of a piece of music.
The key word to use if you wish to find out all about a piece of music is
describe. This will usually be the first word of your request, although this
is not essential. Once you have identified a specific piece of music (or 'tune'
the term used mostly by this site), the system will immediately open a
'TuneDetails' page for that tune.
The rules for identifying a tune name are the same as those for playing music (as above), except that the
results will be shown in a new web page.
This 'Tune Details' page has a brief description of the piece, its key and time
signature, its ensemble, category and featured instruments. It displays the
musical notation for each theme in the piece. And for many works, it shows the
score in the form of a PDF file.
For example. if you say describe chopin waltz in d flat
the tune details page for this waltz will open, with a brief
description, musical notation for the theme, and the piano score.
Getting information about a composer and his/her music.
To view a page about a specific composer, showing a brief biography, a
photograph, and a list of works by him/her, all you need to do is state the name
of the composer. This page also has buttons to play all the works in
sequence, by creating a 'playlist'. For example, if you say
tell me all about Berlioz, this will show Berlioz's page. You
could get here much more easily by simply saying Berlioz.
This page contains a list of music by this composer, in the form of hyperlinks
on which you can click to get to the details page for each piece of music.
This list is sequentially numbered in
the left column, so you may simply say
this number, to hear the music played.
Finding out about a specific instrument, and music written for it.
To find out about a specific instrument, simply state the name of that
instrument. For example, if you say french horn it
will go to the 'Opus by Instrument' page for the French Horn. At the top of this
page there is a green play button, which when clicked will play a sample of
french horn music, illustrating the sound of this magnificent instrument. Then
there is a keyboard diagram indicating the range of notes for the French Horn.
As well as being useful for players, this will help composers and arrangers
wishing to write music for this instrument. It then has a picture of a French
Horn and a description of the instrument. Then there are too big red buttons.
The first, when clicked, will play all the music for the french horn that
is in this database. The other big red button, when clicked, will go to the
thematic index of music for the french horn. Last, but not least, there is
a list of music written for the french horn. This is in the form of hyperlinks
to the details page for each piece of music, together with its composer and its
category. This list is sequentially
numbered in the left column, so you may
simply say this number, to hear the
Accessing other features of this site with your voice.
As well as naming composers or instruments to get where you want, you can
the country of origin of the music or of its composer.
For example, just say france to see a page with
musically relevant information about France, followed by a list of French music.
This is in the form of hyperlinks to the details page for each piece of music,
together with its composer, ensemble and its category.
the category of music, e.g. symphony, sonata, march, waltz, song etc. For example, say
ballet music to see a description of ballet music, and
then a list of all the ballet music in this database.
the period in which the music was written, e.g. early music, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic
etc. For example, just say renaissance to see a
page describing this period and listing music written during this time.
the ensemble playing the music, e.g. orchestra, string quartet, big band,
military band, etc.
Just say orchestra or
trad jazz band or rhythm combo to see
information about that grouping of instruments and music written for it.
a list of all countries. Just say countries.
This takes you to a page which contains a list of countries in the form of
hyperlinks. When you click on a hyperlink you get to the page about that
country and all its music.
a list of ensembles. Just say ensembles. This
takes you to a page which contains a list of ensembles in the form of
hyperlinks. When you click on a hyperlink you get to the page about that
type of ensemble, and music written for it.
a list of categories. Just say categories. You
will arrive at a page which contains a list of categories in the form of
hyperlinks. >When you click on a hyperlink you get to the page about that
category of music, and the music belonging to it.
a list of periods. Just say periods, or you can say
styles. This takes you to a page with a list of
periods/styles, such as impressionist, classical, early music and so on,
all as hyperlinks