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The classical music station of the BBC, broadcast on 90 ~ 93 MHz on the FM band. Although most of its programming is classical, it is also the main place for jazz and for world music and "new music" in the BBC stable.

While the primary spoken word channel is Radio 4, there is also drama on Radio 3, principally the Sunday Play. Arts discussions and documentaries are scattered through the schedules, and they also have occasional discussions of other topics, such as science and overseas politics, in rather more depth than the populist Radio 4.

Its number of listeners as a radio station is rather small, but Radio 3 has additional responsibilities for the Proms (the Promenade Concerts in the summer at the Albert Hall) and for all the BBC national and regional orchestras.

It began life as the Third Programme in the days of Lord Reith, and spoken word culture was more important in its scheduling then. With its conversion to Radio 3 in 1967 music was promoted to the fore.

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