Music on The Internet

There is one topic that I could probably write several blog posts about. It is the unique way something like Cello Journey makes use of the internet. I can mention six things right away.

1. Classical music sounds good recorded live. It does not require much mixing or mastering. This makes it ideal for video.

2. Classical music is abundant. There are several hundred pieces that one can play. There are cello pieces and also music for other instruments which can be transcribed. Much of classical music is in the public domain. A typical pop band has 1 to 3 hit songs. On Cello Journey the repertoire is pretty much unlimited.

3. The distribution of audio and video on the internet. With services like YouTube and iTunes, Cello Journey has been seen over 500,000 times. It can be viewed on computers, iPods, cell phones, Apple TVs, and other media players.

4. Anyone can subscribe to a video podcast like Cello Journey and receive episodes automatically.

5. There is feedback and conversation. It is great that everyone can respond either through comments, e-mails, suggestions, or even by writing on their own blogs.

6. With classical music it is possible to build a relationship with the audience over time. With each episode and each new piece the audience gets to know the musicians better. The musicians get to know the audience better.

Should I write more about this?


  1. I agree completely and think you should go into more detail, also. You see what I’ve found is that classical music can have negative and boring connotations from those who don’t actually listen. The whole “judging a book by it’s cover” thing.

    But classical music is so vast! You have symphonic, chamber, soloist, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contempory. Even people who are staunch rockers, or pop lovers will usually admit that they like at least one of those styles.

    So all that needs to happen for people to get more acquainted with the most beautiful music ever written, classical, is to get the word out. The internet is perhaps the perfect tool to do so.

  2. We’d love to see you write more on this subject.

    The internet is so … democratic. It levels the playing field, doesn’t it? It seems truly important to me, and wonderful, too, that it allows us musicians to present ourselves to the public without having to run the gauntlet of, e.g., “New York agents!” The public can decide for itself whose playing it likes and doesn’t like. Before, it was about “experts” (some of whom had, uhm, let’s say a bit of a conflict of interest, in promoting one artist over others; in my opinion, quite a few “lesser” musicians have been held out as “stars,” and a huge number of *spectacular* musicians have had no chance at *all*, in “the old system,” to be seen and heard).

    When I was a little boy, 7 or 8 years old, I met Yo-Yo Ma. (About 25 of us kid were invited to his rehearsal with one of our local orchestras when he came here as a soloist … he even let us all get in line and try out his fabulous cello for a while … a bit of a “stretch” for those of us with small hands, who weren’t ready for a full-sized cello yet … but still, how *exciting*!). Anyway… After his rehearsal, he spent a *lot* of time talking with all of us children … we sat on the floor around him, out in the lobby of Symphony Hall, and asked him a stream of questions. I asked why *he* had gotten so famous, given the fact that there are so many terrific cellists in the world. Everyone laughed, including Yo-Yo, because my little-boy mis-choice of words *could* have meant that I was saying, “How come you got so famous when there are so many cellists out there who are *better* than you are?” … which of course was *not* what I meant at *all* … to begin with, I wasn’t aware, at that age, of very many other cellists … and I absolutely adored Yo-Yo and his playing! His response: “I got to be famous because I appeared on Sesame Street!” (He was not making a joke, and explained in some detail what the effect had been of his having been on the show!) Well, now, when I want to listen to cellists, I have so many more options, and I think it’s *wonderful* to be able to go to the internet and discover cellists who are new to me, whether they are young or old… I *especially* like being able to find *young* cellists, and then have the chance to watch them grow. But it’s also just *amazing* to me when I “discover” an older cellist, a person who plays *gorgeously*, and I hadn’t even *heard* of them before (grrr!) … nor *would* I have had a chance to hear of them, back in “the old days,” dominated by radio, and then TV!

  3. Patrick – I agree that there is a lot of variety in classical music. I’ve been thinking lately about beauty in music.

    Chris – That is a very neat story about Yo-Yo Ma. I’ve always liked him as a cellist and as a person.

  4. The internet is definitely an awesome place to experience and share classical music.
    I’ve always enjoyed listening to classical music, but now through your videos I find that there’s an enjoyment in watching it to.
    Thanks for a great podcast.

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