Why the internet is falling in love with classical music

Why the internet is falling in love with classical musicClassical music was reportedly the fastest growing music genre among content creators in 2022. Image: Shutterstock

ANDold-fashioned, old-fashioned, old-fashioned. Misconceptions about classical music can be deeply rooted. However, it’s a genre of music that keeps finding ways to innovate in the hopes of engaging a younger audience. And that, he seems to have found on social networks, in particular on YouTube.

So suggests the first annual report from Epidemic Sound, a Swedish company that offers easy access to over 35,000 royalty-free compositions. It shows that the use of classical music on YouTube has increased by 90% in the last 12 months. This would make classical music the genre that saw the strongest growth among content creators in 2022.

So what drives this renewed interest in the compositions of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert? Their timelessness, apparently. Indeed, the very expression “classical music” evokes the idea that the genre is not tied to the contemporary age. The works belonging to this musical repertoire seem to span the centuries, contrary to certain pieces which remain forever associated with a precise moment in time.

These pieces also have the benefit of conveying a wide range of emotions, and can therefore be used as a soundtrack for a wide range of content. Classical repertoire is used in humorous and educational videos, as well as fashion news and reporting, according to the “Sound of the Internet” report. YouTube artist Cecilia Blomdahl uses classic songs to introduce her 491,000 followers to her life in the Svalbard archipelago, located halfway between the North Pole and the Norwegian mainland. “Classic music […] it can be both melancholic and joyful depending on the footage, so the genre fits very well with the feeling I want to evoke in my videos,” he said.

Bringing classical music to new audiences

Musicians such as Christoffer Moe Ditlevsen and Hampus Naeselius are particularly benefiting from this musical trend. The Swedish duo are the classical music composers whose songs have been used in the most YouTube videos this year, according to Epidemic Sound. Trevor Kowalski, Megan Wofford and Franz Gordon also make the list.

For Oscar Höglund, CEO of Epidemic Sound, this could serve as an inspiration for others. “I expect there will be an even larger movement towards storytellers using classical music in their content, which also creates an opportunity for classical artists to continue to modernize the genre and attract new audiences,” she explains. he.

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This renewed interest in classical repertoire is not limited to YouTube. It’s equally prominent on TikTok, Gen Z’s favorite social network. The #classicalmusic hashtag has over 2.3 billion views on the platform. And the classic works are featured in videos as diverse as a test video of trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf and a video of someone cutting pumpkin seeds into tiny strips. Here too classical music proves its versatility. While these new uses may annoy purists, they have the merit of encouraging young TikTok users to discover, and appreciate, a musical genre too often seen as stuffy and outdated. Indeed, research suggests that those under 35 have turned massively to the classical repertoire during the Covid pandemic. Indeed, their consumption increased by 17% between April 2019 and April 2020, according to a study jointly produced by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Deezer and the British Phonographic Industry.

And it’s a phenomenon that TikTok is fully aware of. The short-form video platform partnered with Warner Classics to release a collection of the app’s most-played songs in August. Here, all songs were reworked by the German Babelsberg Film Orchestra, including orchestral versions of Doja Cat’s “Say So”, Alice Merton’s “No Roots” or Kenny BMW’s “Wipe It Down”. An initiative that will certainly help bring classical music to new audiences.

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