Program notes are not concert announcements!

Concert announcements are a sensitive topic. How should they be designed? Is it better to inform the listeners precisely about the work or should we just tell the essentials? Often you could hear speakers who recited more or less meaningless words or even lengthy passages of text. This puts the audience to sleep, it switches off, it becomes inattentive. Therefore, first of all: brevity is the spice of life!

With well over 11,000 works, there are work reviews in your database! These serve to inform you about the background of a composition. Numerous other links in these texts provide further information. From all these texts a speaker should filter out what he thinks is worth mentioning for his audience. Here are “10 commandments” that you should consider when making announcements:

  1. If you don’t arts, speak as you are used to
  2. When you have put together a text, shorten as much as possible. One minute of speaking time is quite long, two minutes is already too much.
  3. Read as many texts as possible. In you will find informative texts on most of the works and composers, which you can use as a basis for your own research.
  4. Years, dates of birth etc. cannot be remembered by the audience – therefore: uninteresting.
  5. Texts should not be instructive. It is better to take up anecdotal material. If a serious topic is at stake, one can fall back on essential statements about this problem.
  6. Read what you have written down aloud to yourself and pay attention to the flow of the language. Avoid a “tongue twister” word and, if one occurs, replace it with an easier to pronounce alternative.
  7. Do not use special words that you would not use in normal usage.
  8. Speech tempo: read the text slowly to yourself, if you think it’s too slow, then it’s suitable for the concert evening.
  9. If there is a “red thread” for the concert, the announcements should be linked together.
  10. Exceptions confirm these rules.

If you are looking for program notes, you can try this either via the “Abbreviations/music lexicon” database by entering the keyword “Program notes” in the “Full text search” field. Or, for example, you can enter “quelle/source” in the full-text search for “wind orchestra/HaFaBra”.


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