In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and shut-down that expand daily, orchestras and musicians are keeping the music going by embracing a new digital normal.  

Orchestras posting performance videos to social media is hardly novel. But on March 27 the Toronto Symphony Orchestra released a clip of Copland’s “Appalachian Spring, ” the “Simple Gifts” excerpt, that garnered tens of thousands of views in the first day alone on Facebook and Instagram. What was special about this clip? None of the Toronto Symphony musicians were playing in the same room as one another—government mandates to limit the spread of COVID-19 meant that they weren’t allowed to perform together. Individual players recorded their parts from their homes, which the symphony then pasted into a collage that circulated amidst announcements of business closures and a shelter-in-place order in the city of Toronto.

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