On this tape are the first three episodes of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for 1989, given by Professor Charles Taylor, about the science of music.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th December 1989 – 15:55
The next episode has the start cut off – I’m not sure by how much, but most of the episode is here.
I used to like seeing Bryson Gore setting up or participating in the experiments in these programmes, Here he is, right at the top of the dome of the lecture theatre, playing a huge tuning fork against a long wooden pole.
“Get your fingers well and truly wet, and slide them up and down the rod.”
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 28th December 1989 – 16:20
In the next episode, Professor Taylor plays a love song on a saw.
I’m slightly in awe at all the young people who are asked to participate in these lectures, as they are often asked to play classical pieces, which they play very well. Here’s young Rajan.
And we’re played out by Sarah on a spinet, an instrument she’s very possibly never seen before today. She’s also sightreading. Very impressive.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th December 1989 – 16:20
After this, there’s a trailer for an ENO production of Hansel and Gretel, then the tape ends.