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Use MITA’s powerful tools and sound-drenched environment to discover music’s rich stories and speak its language step by step. Whether you’re a total newbie or an outright connoisseur, exploring centuries of sound and culture was never so much fun.

What is MITA?
Curious About Music? MITA Is for You!
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What is MITA?

A decade in the making, MITA (Music In the Air) is an all-in-one music discovery resource running on Mac and Windows computers. MITA stimulates your curiosity about, and passion for, live and recorded music by unlocking its many mysteries within an exciting, sound-drenched environment. You’ll efficiently and joyfully break down the daunting task of learning about centuries’ worth of music history, performance, and theory with MITA’s four unique sections:

An Eventful Story | Listening Guides | Interactive Scores | Deep Glossary

AN EVENTFUL STORY: Relevant and engaging

An account of Handel's colorful life
Fun to Read

An account of Handel's colorful life

An account of Handel's colorful life

An account of Handel's colorful life

Screenshot of the Tables of Contents shows various options for sorting centuries of music's stories

A view of the contents included in An Eventful Story's book 6, chronologically the last

A view of the contents included in An Eventful Story's book 6, chronologically the last

A view of the contents included in An Eventful Story's book 6, chronologically the last

A screenshot of a page introducing popular music, with a photo of Bing Crosby and a video link
Modern and Outward-Looking

Beginning of a chapter discussing the rise of popular music

Beginning of a chapter discussing the rise of popular music

Beginning of a chapter discussing the rise of popular music

A screenshot of a section of MITA dedicated to Chinese music, with a video of Qin Xiao Ning demonstrating the sounds of the guzheng
Modern and Outward-Looking

Master performer Qin Xiao Ning demonstrates the sounds of the Chinese guzheng

Master performer Qin Xiao Ning demonstrates the sounds of the Chinese guzheng

Master performer Qin Xiao Ning demonstrates the sounds of the Chinese guzheng

A screenshot of a page of MITA dedicated to Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever", with buttons to "Play" or go to the listening guide, score, or a web video

Buttons and text link to various sections of MITA

Buttons and text link to various sections of MITA. Clicking the "Play" button will start Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" from here within An Eventful Story

Buttons and text link to various sections of MITA. Clicking the "Play" button will start Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" from here within An Eventful Story

A screenshot of the Tables of Contents, sorted by geographical region

An Eventful Story sorted by region

An Eventful Story sorted by region, with Austria/Germany selected

An Eventful Story sorted by region, with Austria/Germany selected

A screenshot of an image from MITA that shows one of the paintings that "Pictures at an Exhibition" sought to express in music
Smartly Illustrated

An enlarged image related to Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"

An enlarged image of one of the pictures that Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" aimed to express in music

An enlarged image of one of the pictures that Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" aimed to express in music

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Highlights of An Eventful Story

Fun to Read

Make sense of music’s stories by learning about their rich cultural contexts, often tied to everyday concepts (like baseball!).


Acquaint yourself with all of Western music’s major movements and composers, from the Middle Ages to Minimalism, from Hildegard of Bingen (born 1098) to John Adams (born 1947).


Click the “Play” icon to hear the work under discussion while you read, or choose “Listening Guide” or “Score” for deeper resources. Jump seamlessly back and forth. Musical concepts and challenging English vocabulary link directly to the Deep Glossary.

Modern and Outward-Looking

Alongside Western art music, explore jazz and popular music. Plus, get to know a variety of world music traditions via intimate video encounters with gifted performers.

Smartly Illustrated

Click on in-text thumbnails to view hundreds of full-screen images and take in the full captions.

Clearly Yet Flexibly Organized

Read all 800+ pages of An Eventful Story “cover to cover” to experience music history chronologically, or approach it through the lens that most interests you, be it composer, geography, or any other of the eight ways to sort. Use MITA’s search function to track down pieces, terms, or whatever word or phrase you’re looking for.


Written by award-winning UCLA Distinguished Professor of Music Robert Winter.

LISTENING GUIDES: More than 160 recordings accompanied by real-time written explanations

Highlights of Listening Guides

World-Class Recordings

MITA teems with performances by the best of the best, from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Takacs Quartet, from Dame Joan Sutherland to Sir Georg Solti.

Interactive Design

Bouncing blocks take you through each section of every piece. To hear any location (“Closing area,” for example), simply click on it, and voila.

Vocal Texts Made Intelligible

For vocal works, the Listening Guides include both the original language and custom “sense” English translations (rather than misleading “singing” translations).


MITA’s Listening Guides include detailed background and full commentary.

Layered Approach

Most Guides include two toggle-able levels: Level 1 (for relative beginners), requiring you to have no prior musical training, and Level 2 (for more advanced learners), challenging you to connect what you hear to musical ideas and language you already know.

INTERACTIVE SCORES: Over 120 annotated scores brought to life

Highlights of Interactive Scores

Bouncing Blocks

As the music plays continuously, MITA’s interactive bouncing blocks guide novices and experts alike through the written music. It’s easy to notice the relationships between what you hear in the recording and what you see on the page—even if you don’t read music (trust us!).

Interactive Navigation

Click anywhere on a page to hear the music from exactly that point. Go through a score page by page, jump to a specific page number, or click on “Go To” to play from a specific moment in the piece (“Coda,” for example).

Supercharged Introductions

Each score opens with an enlightening overview and a map of the piece’s sections.

Insightful Annotations

Easily readable red text points out the most salient features on each page. Musical terms are linked to their Deep Glossary entries. Clicking “More” on the bottom of many pages delves even deeper into what the music reveals.

You’re in Control

Want to just silently read or listen to a score on your own? With a single click turn off the commentary and bouncing blocks and have at it.

DEEP GLOSSARY: A unique approach to a wealth of terms and ideas

Highlights of the Deep Glossary

Multimedia Richness

Don't just read definitions: hear them! In-text “Play” buttons illustrate written concepts. Hundreds of textual pop-ups tell you exactly what you’re hearing when you hear it.

Helpful Ordering

An alphabetical index is supplemented by a “Musical Languages Guide” that builds knowledge step-by-step, from the most basic concepts (“music”) to the most advanced (“modified strophic form” or “disability studies”).

Dynamic Linking

Terms found in each definition are themselves linked to their own definitions, and works referenced are linked back to “An Eventful Story.”

Depth, on Your Terms

We meant it when we named it the “Deep” Glossary. Many entries offer extended essays with further suggestions for more reading. But each entry starts with a simple barebones definition if that’s all you need.

Help with English, Too

Straightforward definitions for over 1000 challenging non-musical English words. Every word includes an audio pronunciation.

Head Down the Rabbit Hole with MITA

Performer Qin Xiao Ning demonstrates on the Chinese guzheng.
In trying to nourish and develop your interest in classical music, you might sometimes feel you’re surrounded by experts, who silence you with the quip of an abstract theory term or stare you down for clapping between movements of a symphony. You are not alone! (And don’t worry about the haters.) There are lots of bright, curious people who want to open their minds to the vibrant world of music but are unsure about where to start or uneasy engaging in those conversations. MITA seeks to democratize the classical music world by bringing all those with an earnest interest to places of confidence and deeper enjoyment in their musical journeys.

Learn Music through Sounds

Before there was music history or music theory, there was the music itself. MITA’s philosophy prioritizes sound as the central element in the learning experience, with real pieces and strategic audio illustrations integrated directly into the text. You’ll never have to imagine what something sounds like. Just press “Play.”

Follow Built-In Structures

The historical accounts within MITA can be read sequentially—which is to say from the dawn of Western music in ancient Greece until the extraordinary global musical diversity of today—in a way that both entertains and enlightens, saturated throughout with sounds and images. If you want to expand your musical vocabulary, follow the glossary’s Musical Languages Guide, which starts with essays on the most basic terms (e.g. “music,” “rhythm”) and builds from there. MITA’s built-in structure provides guidance informed by our team members’ combined 100+ years of experience as teachers (and learners!).

Or, Customize to Your Own Liking

If you know what you want, skip the built-in structures altogether and use MITA’s powerful sorting features to make the experience yours. The search feature allows you to find all mentions of any term within the program. An Eventful Story can be accessed eight different ways (chronologically, geographically, by composer, etc.), and most Listening Guides can be set to novice or advanced levels.

Grasp Ideas in Plain, Memorable Terms

MITA places historical and theoretical notions within cultural contexts that are truthful and make no attempt to conceal paradoxes or contradictions. The narrative relates music to everyday ideas, so you don’t need to be a theory guru to wrap your head around them. Making connections to ideas you already own has been shown repeatedly to be the best predictor of what you retain.

Discover Musical Scores as Never Before

Whether you’ve never read a note of music or logged years of theory as a music student, MITA brings a whole new level of engagement with its Interactive Scores. They don’t just stare back at you—every bar, phrase, and theme plays for you on command, guided by MITA’s interactive bouncing blocks. Optional annotations provide insights about each score’s most revealing dimensions, with terms linked to the Deep Glossary.

Prepare for Live Experiences

Fostering a passion for live music is central to the mission of ArtsInteractive. MITA can help you make the most of your live listening experience. If you’re going to hear a piece of music that’s in MITA, well, you know what to do (ahem, check out the Eventful Story overview, Listening Guide, and Interactive Score). If the piece isn’t in MITA, you can still prepare profitably by immersing yourself in the cultural movements on which your piece draws.

Join the Conversation

The more you learn about music, the more you become part of its living community. It’s not about impressing people by dropping in the right term during a lull in the conversation. It’s about being able to communicate your passion to others, and to hear theirs in return. It’s about confronting the relationships between music and power, about debating whether Wagner’s anti-Semitism stains his music, or arguing whether the hip-hop of resistance has become overly commodified. Music matters because it cannot help but reflect where a culture is or predict where it’s going.

Embrace the Spirit of Music!

It's sometimes hard to explain to others why we need music, which on the surface seems to serve little concrete purpose. Yet for millennia humans have acknowledged its central importance to creating community and cultural identity, its unique ability to both console and to challenge. Music continues to elicit a wider range of responses and engagement than any other form of human expression. Within that framework MITA strives to constantly expand your field of vision.
President Nixon tries to impress a skeptical Premier Chou En Lai in Act II of John Adams’s “Nixon in China”

What Are You Waiting For? Special Pre-Launch Download

Downloading Expanded MITA Sampler is quick and easy, and it’s a better way of understanding what the program is all about than anything we can show you on this page (no offense to our marketing team!). For 30 days, you can experience a healthy portion of MITA’s content (about 40% of what’s in the full Subscription version) and access all its features. After your first 30 days, your installation will morph into the forever-free basic MITA Sampler (with about 10% of the full version’s content). If now or any time in the future you’re hungry for more, sign up for a subscription to the full version. If you’re satisfied with MITA Sampler, that’s cool, too. It’s yours to keep for as long as music flows through your veins. Complete the mini-form below to launch your download!

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Note: MITA is currently available only for Mac and Windows computers. If you would like step-by-step instructions or encounter issues with anti-virus software, please refer to the MITA installation instructions.

Nonsense-Free Subscription Options

Three options for subscribing to the full version of MITA fit varying needs and budgets. Pay as you go, with no contracts or commitments and a rate that never rises for active subscribers, even as prices for new customers do. With our satisfaction guarantee, if you try out a subscription version of MITA and within 30 days decide it’s not for you, we’ll refund the cost, no questions asked. New content is being added to MITA regularly (grayed-out items in the program are ones coming soon) and is included as part of your subscription.

Now through November 30

We’re celebrating MITA’s launch with annual subscription discounts that will make you want to sing, fortississimo, with joy! Save even more on what was already your best-value subscription option, and renew at the same low rate in subsequent years.
  • Monthly: $12.95
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  • Annual: $124.95 (like getting over two months free!) $99.95 (like getting over four months free vs. Monthly!)

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