The Youtube Symphony Orchestra

There has been a lot of hype about the Youtube Symphony Orchestra project. Initially I was really excited by how it allowed for amateur and professional musicians from all over the world to perform in a virtual/real orchestra with music composed by Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The deadline for submissions is today!

I looked at the sheet music; not terribly difficult but not easy either…

I liked how people who wanted to enter the competition would upload practice videos and were given practice advice from their youtube friends. It then dawned on me that people (young mainly) are uploading music exam pieces for discussion and guidance from the classical music youtube community. Super Kewl!!

I wish I had the same virtual opportunity when doing my grade 8 music exams! It just seems so much more motivating!! Rather than seeking approbation from a stuffy, coffee supping suit (mainly tweed wearing for me) in a quaker house to decide whether to pass, fail, merit or give you a distinction for playing 3 pieces you have studied all year long – you can now have people from all over the globe give you feedback – inspiring!

However, although this project pledges to be the world’s first collaborative online orchestra, I am somewhat disappointed by a few of the perimeters in place, just a few….

Firstly you need to be able to read music, and musicians that don’t play instruments of a traditional orchestra nature are immediately excluded. I think that it would be more exciting if the youtube orchestra did something where it promoted classical music whilst still keeping the doors firmly open for musicians who don’t read sheet music, or play conventional instruments. Or maybe that’s their next gig! A youtube cinematic orchestra with guitars, sitars and vocoders allowed! 😉

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