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Howard Goodall's Big Bangs

Howard Goodall's Big Bangs is a music documentary presented by Howard Goodall, looking at five of the great breakthroughs that European music has experienced in its extraordinary history. The series consists of five episodes that deal with particular moments in time where one person’s ideas and actions have changed the course of music: The Invention of Notation, The Birth of Opera, The Discovery of Equal Temperament, The History of the Piano, and The Development of Recorded Sound. The program also examines what these five momentous moments of discovery mean to us today.

Episode 1 - The Invention of Notation
Howard Goodall traces early forms of musical notation, where simple accents were placed above words to show whether the tune went up or down. He investigates the work of Guido.

Episode 2 - The Birth of Opera
Howard Goodall examines the birth of opera; he explores what makes opera different as an art form to all the others, and how opera has always been the ideal art form for dealing with issues.

Episode 3 - The Discovery of Equal Temperament
Howard Goodall introduces the history of temperament; he explores the effect Pythagoras' invention had on western music, and the effect the theory of J. S. Bach had on western music.

Episode 4 - The History of the Piano
Howard Goodall introduces the history of the piano; he explores the effect Bartolomeo Cristofori's invention had on music, and the ways in which different composers developed the instrument.

Episode 5 - The Development of Recorded Sound
Howard Goodall examines the invention of recorded sound, and the impact this has had upon music as we know it.


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