Teens, TikTok and orchestral music

Image by Gerd Altmann (CC0C/Pixabay)

Teenagers on TikTok are streaming orchestral music and leading what some are calling a revival of the art form.

At the height of the COVID pandemic, musicians were forced off stage and online, where their creativity flourished. Over the past two years, in particular, under-25 favorite TikTok has become a conduit for discovering new music, and it turns out today’s Gen Z is coming to appreciate it more. plus orchestral music.

Research by the UK’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and others has also shown a resurgence of interest in classical and orchestral music in general among people under 35, and even under 25. About a third of classical music streamers were between the ages of 18 and 25 according to a survey, with double-digit growth in just a few years.

It makes sense that they discover it on their favorite platform, TikTok.

What is this TikTok, you ask?

For the uninitiated, TikTok is a social media platform where users can upload short videos set to music. It has become the platform of choice for people under 25 and ranks second only to Instagram for 25-34 year olds. According to the statistics :

  • 73% of TikTok’s global audience of over 1 billion is between 18 and 34 years old;
  • This is divided into 42% between 18 and 24 years old and 31% between 25 and 34 years old.

The growth spurt in orchestral music is entirely due to the ingenuity of the creators of TikTok, who took the medium and invented their own ways of enjoying music, including orchestral genres.

It’s not your grandfather’s classical music, in other words, at least not all the time.

There are original music videos that have made internet stars into artists playing at home. Musicians like Australian Portair have gone viral with videos that portray more than music. Portair’s video playing an original composition titled dark hour as the sun set in front of his studio racked up over 5.4 million views.


Such a beautiful afternoon light #sunset #piano #pianotok #musiciansoftiktok #fyp

♬ Gloaming Hour – Portair

Others create their own visuals from the classical music library available on the platform. Challenges can attract even more new music lovers. A classical music challenge on TikTok in 2021 drew just under 740 million views.

Even though original music isn’t strictly speaking classical music, orchestral arrangements have become one of the most popular genres on the platform. It’s so popular, in fact, that Warner Classics and TikTok are releasing an album in August 2022 titled TikTok Classics – Viral memes and hits. It will feature 18 of the platform’s most popular tracks, orchestrally processed and played by the Babelsberg Film Orchestra of Germany. The result is a combination of pop with a layer of lush orchestral work that brings out the classic harmonic and rhythmic structures that underlie contemporary music.

Singer-songwriter Alice Mertonwhose track no roots was rearranged and re-recorded for the project, commented on in a press release. “It’s great to combine the worlds of classical music and pop music. Listening to No Roots in a new musical context is inspiring. I’m excited about the project and can’t wait to see how it will come to life.

“Warner Classics is proud to be able to make ‘TikTok Classics – viral memes and hits’ with the TikTok team. Arranged and produced to the highest standards, these songs known and loved by TikTok users are presented in a different style – orchestral We want to showcase the possibilities, range and epic sound of a symphony orchestra in a new context, encourage closer listening and share our passion for orchestral sound with the TikTok community,” says Markus PetersonSenior Vice President of Global Operations and Business Development, Warner Classics.

It’s not your grandmother’s classical music, but it might be your teenager’s.


Get daily art news straight to your inbox.

Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE.

Latest posts by Anya Wassenberg (see everything)
Latest posts by Anya Wassenberg (see everything)

Comments are closed.