Flash mob plays Beethoven’s Ode to Joy

Megan Garber of The Atlantic recounts the history of flash mobs (it started out as an experiment to demonstrate the connectivity of the internet), how they have evolved over time to serve different purposes, and how this particular manifestation came about.

This is of course not the first time that flash mobs have been organized to bring classical music to the public. We saw previously the toreador’s song from Bizet’s opera Carmen performed in a department store and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah performed in a shopping mall food court.

I love things like this. It takes work but it not only brings great music to the street, it just lifts everyone’s spirits.


  1. Etienne says

    I really like the music. Considering the numerous camera positions it took to put this together, how spontaneous was it really?

  2. Mano Singham says

    Flash mobs are not spontaneous at all. What are the odds that people would be carrying basses and drums as they went around their daily lives? They are carefully planned to look spontaneous to the people at the site, in order to surprise them.

  3. 'Tis Himself says

    I liked how the girl who put the money in the hat at the beginning of the video stood there throughout the performance, watching everything intently.

  4. says

    This is the sort of thing deserving of the proper meaning of the adjective awesome, before it was corrupted to be applied to ordinary nonsense happening on any random day.

  5. says

    Good morning Mano,

    What a great start to my week.

    I’ve come to consider Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and the 4th movement in particular, to be the pinnacle of Western Music and the standard by which our music must be judged. I cannot hear these notes without my tears welling and my heart soaring.

    I own several recordings of the 9th but my favorite, and perhaps the greatest, is of Leonard Bernstein conducting:

    an orchestra and chorus formed from musicians from both East and West Germany (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden), as well as the United States (New York Philharmonic), Great Britain (London Symphony), France (Orchestre de Paris) and the Soviet Union (Orchestra of the Kirov Theater).

    after the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

    And then there is this

    Do all you can to make today a good day,


  6. stonyground says

    I watched this one and also the two others that you linked to, all of them were wonderful. As has already been mentioned, these things are very carefully planned but look spontanious at the time. In all cases the video captures both the performers and the reaction of the audience brilliantly.

  7. says

    @blindrobin : Nothing’s too late when u open and share it to everybody.! 😀 .! I really Love this video posting by Som.! I watches so many times.! still love it.!

  8. Mano Singham says

    That was really beautiful! Thanks for posting.

    I think that opera (or classical choral music) works best for flash mobs, no? Somehow I cannot imagine pop music having the same emotional effect on the audience.


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