A programme has been launched by Radio Television Hong Kong to give students a better understanding of fine music. Joy of Listening, consisting of 52 episodes, aims to counter the view among many young people that classical music is 'boring'. More than 50 pieces of fine music, from Baroque to contemporary and Western to Chinese, will be analysed by more than 10 local music experts including So Ting-cheong, Law Wing-fai, Ip Shun-chi and Lai Boon-tsing. Their analyses have been compiled into the Joy of Listening handbook. Critics examine the masterpieces and the performing styles and backgrounds of the musicians. They also teach students how to gain a critical appreciation of music. A large portion of the 5,000 handbooks will be given to students and teachers. Each primary and secondary school will also get two copies. Tsui Wan-ching, who edited the handbook, said bringing classical music to schools was no easy task. 'Many students think classical music is boring. We need the co-operation of music teachers to help students learn more about classical music.' Mr Tsui hopes that music teachers will use the handbook as class material and introduce the 'alternative music' to students who are more familiar with Canto-pop. He said the most effective way to bring classical music to schools was to start with pieces that had 'images'. For instance, musical pieces representing thunderstorms would be easier for students to grasp than those which are more abstract. But the ultimate goal is to enable students to appreciate music by teaching them the concepts and structures of a piece. Tseng Sun-man, head of Radio 4, said the new programme acted as a bridge between classical music and education. He said although many students were learning musical instruments, most did not know how to appreciate music. 'Many of them do not know the backgrounds of the musicians or their masterpieces,' Mr Tseng said. 'When they play musical instruments, they acquire skills instead of an understanding of music.' He added that students would only be able to appreciate music if they knew about the creation, structure and historical significance of the masterpieces. The programme will also feature classical Chinese music. Joy of Listening is broadcast at 6.30 pm every Monday and Wednesday, and at 5.30 pm on Saturdays.