The world of classical music is now at your fingertips, thanks to a new stand-alone app by Apple.
Available to download from the App Store as of Tuesday, Apple Music Classical reportedly has more than five million tracks currently, in high-resolution audio.
The app is available via an Apple Music subscription and is limited to iPhone users running iOS 15.4 and later, while iPad, Mac and Android users will not be be able to use it yet.
Here is what you need to know about Apple Music Classical.
1. It's clean and functional
As the app is available for existing Apple Music subscribers, it naturally follows the same clean design aesthetic and functionality.
The Listen Now section basically serves as a homepage where users can scroll through Apple Music Classical's main features.
The Browse page is divided into catalogue, playlists and instruments sections, where users can access thematic playlists and albums.
The search function allows you to find content by composer, track title and keywords.
With classical music titles often including numbers, it is recommended to use exact song titles where possible. For example, typing "Beethoven's Symphony No.5" as opposed to "Beethoven's Symphony Number 5” will provide more accurate results.
2. An ideal discovery app
Apple Music Classical’s key features are designed with genre newbies in mind.
The platform’s signature Essentials playlists are ideal introductions to sub-genres ranging from baroque and symphonic to opera and choral.
Each list also comes with a nifty blurb on the characteristics of music included.
The Story of Classical is another great feature. The nine-part playlists trace the evolution of the genre from the Middle Ages to present day.
Key works and composers are also highlighted with introductory commentary to each playlist.
3. Curated by maestros
In a competitive market, streaming services define themselves by functionality and curation.
When it comes to the latter, Apple Music Classical does a good job in making a specialised genre accessible.
There are more than 100 playlists available on this dedicated page, divided into subsections including certain musical periods and a variety of ensembles, from solos to octets.
Highlights are Instruments is home to 25 playlists featuring works tailored to specific instruments ranging from the piano to the viola da gamba.
Different styles of operatic vocals also are included here, such as The Soprano Voice — featuring classical arias composed by Gaetano Donizetti and Antonio Vivaldi — and Tenor Voice, with key pieces such as Nessun Dorma by Giacomo Puccini.
Also worth checking out is the Curated by Artist section, featuring thematic playlists chosen by classical music stars.
Titled Our Common Nature, Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s selection (featuring Pablo Casals and Kathryn Stott) is made up of works that “remind us that we do not live in isolation from one another.”
Egyptian soprano Fatma Said has curated a rhythmic playlist called Dance, featuring important works from the tango and opera genres.