Classical group claims one billion Youtube hits

Classical group claims one billion Youtube hits


norman lebrecht

August 09, 2016

The bizness guys behind the sassy 5 Piano Guys are showing more than a billion hits for their channel of quirky para-classical videos, such as this:

That would put their channel among Youtube’s top 100.

Are we excited? Can we trust those stats?

We’ll be publishing a piece shortly on how artists buy social media fans by bulk.

5 piano guys



  • Mikey says:

    “para-classical”? is that what we’re calling cheesy pop music now?

  • R. Brite says:

    Norman may have to take my fogey credentials away for this, but I really enjoy a lot of the work of The Piano Guys – the original duo of Jon Schmidt (on keyboard here) and Steven Sharp Nelson (chiefly a cellist, wielding the bow here). Both are quite listenable, and if they owe a lot to the people who do their scenography, marketing, etc., well good for them.

    No, none of it’s what I’d call classical, or even para-classical (!), and much of it is silly and gimmicky. But they have a lot of fun with it and that comes through in their videos. Watching two guys having fun playing piano and cello – one could do worse. And look at the comments (no, really!): I’ve see a fair number of youngsters who say they started playing an instrument because of the Piano Guys.

    • V.Lind says:

      They seem quite entertaining, if one likes that sort of thing (and why shouldn’t one?).

      I am not familiar with One Direction, though I have heard the name on topical news quizzes and assume they are a boy band. But it seems the right sort of music for this sort of talented novelty act. But by what criteria do they qualify as “classical” — or even “para-classical,” whatever that might be?

      • R. Brite says:

        It’s because of the cello, I think – Sharp Nelson’s playing usually features prominently in their videos. Of course, pianos are used in all kinds of music, but while jazz cello or rock cello is certainly conceivable (a website called Ranker, apparently devoted entirely to clickbait lists, helpfully informs us that there exists “a plethora of awesome cello rock bands”), it’s an instrument associated very largely with classical. As for “para-“, isn’t it basically a polite way of saying “not really”?

        • V.Lind says:

          Hmm. Well, thanks — and I have not really seen enough of them to judge.

          Suspect I prefer ersatz to para. But there seems to be no harm in them, and certainly some serious musicianship. I wish people were not so hostile to anything not “classical” — my only query here is (as so often) the header on the blog and its designation. But perhaps it is being claimed as such by someone else.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    I want those three minutes back. Horrible.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Para-classical, that is, more or less like Paralympics?