Classical Flash Mobs

by apernot

After watching the flash mob clip of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy, that was posted previously, I found myself searching for more clips of flash mobs involving classical music and here are just a few of the many that I found.

Handel’s Messiah, Hallelujah chorus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE
Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzwWskM4hN8
Grieg’s Peer Gynt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gww9_S4PNV0

One reason I find the idea of classical music flash mobs fascinating is because they make classical music accessible to the average person. Ordinarily we associate classical music with the upper class or those who can afford both the leisure time and money to spend an evening, in formal attire, at a concert hall. Flash mobs, which are very much a part of pop culture, provide the ideal medium to make a performance of classical music available to people from all walks of life, and of any age. Furthermore, people can spend as little or as much time as they can afford enjoying the performance.

The fact that the music is presented through the highly contemporary medium of flash mobs, which are usually reserved for current and popular music, dance or reenactment of a movie scene, gives it that twist that makes it seem timely and up to date, while at the same time preserving the timeless quality and universal appeal we find in classical music. Unfortunately, in today’s society, classical genres remain more popular with the upper class, perhaps in many ways society has been to blame for not giving it a more substantial role in early educational experiences. This lack of exposure could be remedied rather easily through education, television and advertising.
The main reason classical music flash mobs are so effective is that they expose the public to classical music genres in a way that is both spontaneous and entertaining. The flash mob medium piques the interest of those passing and curiosity holds them through the performance as they eagerly watch to discover what will happen next.

Despite the fact that the videos listed above differ from each other significantly, the reactions of the crowd are remarkably similar. Observers are initially surprised, then, as the music becomes more powerful and complex, they become more animated and enthusiastic, some are even moved to the point of tears by the performances. These classical music flash mobs leave an impression that people will not soon forget. What’s more, they are giving classical music a more widespread presence in modern society. Just by watching that first Beethoven flash mob video, I have already gone out of my way to look for more, which demonstrates the fact that flash mobs are a very effective way of putting an up-to-date spin on classical music.

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