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Ether Game

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Ether Game is a weekly music guessing game that airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on WFIU. It features mainly classical music, but branches out to movie soundtracks, jazz, folk, and rock too. The game targets the music buff, but just about anyone who likes music and guessing games will have fun too.

Ether Game began in March 16, 1971 as a drop-the-needle program, with the selections printed upside down in the WFIU program guide. It wasn’t until the early 80s that listeners were invited to call in their answers along with their “tasteful pseudonym”, and the current show began to take shape.

Over the years, Ether Game has seen a variety of changes, including changes in the number of hosts, time slots shifts, and the popular “Ether Bole [sic]” competition of the 80s and 90s. More recently, we’ve added a Podcast, a weekly guessing game tied to each theme.

The number of calls received can number in the hundreds, and as many as 90 individuals have called in during a game. The show boasts a very diverse audience, with players of varying musical expertise and knowledge from Bloomington, other communities in South-Central Indiana, and as far away Virginia and Florida.

Here’s How To Play The Game:

There are nine rounds in each show. If you know the title of a piece, or you can identify the composer, you can tell one of our friendly phone volunteers by calling (877) 285-WFIU. If your answer is correct, we’ll read your name or a tasteful pseudonym on air. If you’re having a bit of trouble, our phone volunteers will be happy to give you a few hints. We also have bonus questions tied to each round for an extra trivia challenge.

Round eight is an especially difficult selection, the dreaded Super Stumper. In this round, you’re on your own. Our phone answerers can’t give you any hints!

If you want to play for a prize, be the fifth caller during our first round or our teaser selection (usually round number 4). Clips of our teaser selection can be heard throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday on WFIU, and also in our weekly podcast. And, anyone who has a perfect game- that is, anyone who identifies all nine  selections correctly, wins a prize!

Feel free to contact us or find us on Facebook for anecdotes and more specifics about the program.

Ether Game has been compiled by a variety of WFIU staff. Production starts with meeting of the producer and staff to select topics and pieces. The program is then compiled, researched, scripted, and formatted for radio.

The live production happens Tuesday evenings starting at 8 p.m. E.T., with a bank of phone answerers.

Ether Game producers, compilers, assistants, consultants have included a large number of professionals selected from Indiana Unviversity Jacobs School of Music. These included musicologists, theorists, composers, performers, as well as professionals associated with other IU departments.

On occasion, knowledgeable listeners have contributed topics and music selections.

The Ether Game Brain Trust:

  • Mark Chilla, Host/Writer
  • Chris Burrus, Producer/Writer
  • Melanie Hunter, Arvids Plesovs, Rob Hunter, Nick Burrus, dedicated phone volunteers

WFIU Production Staff:

  • John Bailey, Program Director
  • Joe Goetz, Music Director
  • Nancy Krueger, Grants/Gifts Officer
  • Will Murphy, Operations Director
  • Perry Metz, Executive-in-Charge IU Radio-Television Services
  • Marianne Woodruff, Corporate Support Director

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