Modern Living

Over the last 200 years our world has been transformed by the march of technology - and that's been reflected in music as much as anywhere. In this series, conductor Marin Alsop explores music inspired by, and using, the new technology. She starts today with the steam engine.



4/4. Conductor Marin Alsop ends her series of music inspired by the march of technology by coming bang up to date, taking in space travel, nuclear power, the synthesiser and the mobile phone, before whizzing off on a motorbike with Swedish composer Jan Sandström and an amazing gang of trombonists.

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Music includes railway pictures by Villa-Lobos, Johann Strauss and Honegger, factory soundscapes in Fred Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues and Alexander Mosolov's Iron Foundry, and Elgar's evocation of a translatlantic liner.


Today's music includes cityscapes from Vaughan Williams, Copland, Charles Ives and Charles Chaplin, telecommunications with Johann Strauss, Arthur Sullivan and Gian Carlo Menotti's The Telephone, and photographs from the collections of Philip Glass and Kurt Weill.

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In today's programme of music inspired by technology, conductor Marin Alsop takes a spin in Fred Converse's Model "T" Ford, and takes to the skies with William Walton, Samuel Barber and Marc Blitzstein's Airborne Symphony.

Plus newspaper adverts set to music, and the world's first electronic instruments: the spooky theremin, the serene ondes martenot and the boppy trautonium.