YouTube Gets a Little More Intelligent

YouTube has had the mass mar­ket locked up for some time. But, dur­ing the past year, it has been giv­ing a lit­tle nod to more “high­brow” view­ers. We’ve seen chan­nels sprout­ing up on YouTube that fea­ture con­tent pro­duced by uni­ver­si­ties and oth­er high-val­ue con­tent providers. (See our col­lec­tion Intel­li­gent Life at YouTube: 80 Video Col­lec­tions.) We’ve also watched the launch of The YouTube Screen­ing Room, which brings short inde­pen­dent films to the view­ing pub­lic. Now we have The YouTube Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra. 

This project brings clas­si­cal music into the world of Web 2.0. As The New York Times explains it, the ini­tia­tive will pro­duce a mashup of orches­tral pieces con­tributed by users. And, it will also fea­ture a con­test in which musi­cians can upload sam­ples of their work, and, à la Amer­i­can Idol, win­ners will be cho­sen by a pan­el of judges and brought to per­form at Carnegie Hall under the direc­tion of Michael Tilson Thomas, music direc­tor of the San Fran­cis­co Sym­pho­ny. (Get more from the video below.)  Some purists will find this high­ly gim­micky, no doubt. Oth­ers may see it as a good way to keep clas­si­cal music rel­e­vant. Have an opin­ion? Let us know in the com­ments.


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.