Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Make Music New York plays largest electronic keyboard ensemble

 
 
 
 
 
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Heading down West 4th to grab a coffee at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Manhattan's West Village, you're bound to hear a lot of sounds.

The honking of taxis. The chugging of the subways below your feet. The nondescript buzzing of friends talking at brunch. 

And, if you happened to walk past the Cafe on Friday, you also heard the sweet sounds of a world record getting broken.

To celebrate Make Music New York, a group of 175 artists joined together to break the mark for the largest electronic keyboard ensemble, playing Pachelbel's Canon in D, which you may also know as "the song they play at almost every wedding you've ever attended."

Needing to find enough qualified musicians to play for the official record guidelines of at least 5 minutes, MMNY president Aaron Friedman knew exactly where he wanted to break his record.

"The city of New York is teeming with musicians," Friedman said. "[It] is the perfect place to set a Guinness World Records title for the music community!”

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The group of artists included professional musicians, music teachers and students, as well as adept music fans. All of the keyboards used were provided by Yamaha and then donated to local schools needing instruments after the attempt via the VH1 Save the Music program.

Make Music New York is an annual musical celebration on June 21, the longest day of the year in the U.S. More than 1,000 free concerts were scheduled to perform this year - the festival's seventh iteration - spanning parks, sidewalks, and other public spaces across all five of the city's boroughs. The 12-hour festival is held in conjunction with similar concert celebrations in 514 other cities around the world.

The global reach of MMNY matches up interestingly with the history of the record it broke. Since first being awarded to a group of 69 schoolchildren playing in the UK in December 1999, the largest electronic keyboard ensemble has been broken in Hungary, India, Sri Lanka, and once previously in the U.S.

Once the final note of Pachelbel's piece concluded, MMNY had brought the record back to America for the first time in 9 years.

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"It is a great thing for the students to participate in Make Music New York and the world record really tied it together for me," said a participating music teacher known as Mr. C, from the Brooklyn School of Global Studies. "The fact that they can tell their grandkids about this is amazing.”

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