YouTube: Classical Music Explosion

The internet has been good to Classical music, create a new source for sales, downloading classical music has actually helped CD sales as well. Now, YouTube joins the fight to keep Classical music in the forefront with a competition to discover new classical musicians. According to the BBC, YouTube is running a contest revolving around a piece - commissioned by You Tube - scored by classical composer Tan Dun.

WebUser is calling it an online orchestra, as "YouTube is calling on musicians to submit audition videos as it starts to build the world's first online orchestra. The winners, who will be chosen by the YouTube community, will be flown to Carnegie Hall in New York to play at a three-day classical music summit."

The New York Times is covering this event as well with "The project, called the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (, was announced on Monday in London and New York. Boiled down, it has two essential parts. The composer Tan Dun has written a four-minute piece for orchestra. YouTube users are invited to download the individual parts for their instruments from the score, record themselves performing the music, then upload their renditions. After the entrants are judged, a mash-up of all the winning parts will be created for a final YouTube version of the piece.

"In the project’s other prong, musicians will upload auditions from a prescribed list — for trumpeters, for example, an excerpt from the Haydn Concerto — for judging by a jury that Google says will include musicians from major orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and the London Symphony. Entrants have until Jan. 28 to upload their videos.The panel picks a short list of finalists, and YouTube users, “American Idol”-style, choose the winners, who are flown to Carnegie Hall in April for a concert conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Google will arrange for visas and pay costs."

So, all you budding classical musicians, get your computers out and start practicing. This could be your chance.

What does this really mean to the classical world? Well, I expect we'll not only see more online competitions this way, it the exposure of classical music to the internet savey younger generation means, in addition to pop music and the vast expanse of music videos for pop artists, there will be an explosion of classical music and experimental music appearing on the internet.

Ultimately, the way we perceive music (not just the listening, but where, how and what we listen to) will be shaped by how available the music is in video format. Where MTV killed the radio star by creating a whole new medium with which a generation judged their favorite music, the internet will do the same generating interest in musical forms outside the current main stream (radio, television[video] and record[CD] sales) and yet, by virtue of the internet, main stream will become what can be downloaded in all it's variations. MTV made it practically necessary for an artist to create a music video if the artist wanted their song to climb up the charts. Now, the internet will be the next vehicle required to vault songs (of all sorts) to the top of the charts. The very nature of the internet, anyone can upload anything, means all sorts of new music will become available and it won't just be the record companies who determine what we see/hear and therefore what we like.


Popular posts from this blog

Pacific Symphony's Ninth American Composers Festival Explores The Composers And Music That Belonged To "Hollywood's Golden Age"

The Art of String Quartets by Brian Ferneyhough

New Music: "A Sweeter Music" by Sarah Cahill