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Today is Make Music NY, a citywide explosion of free live music that stretches from the Rockaways to Tottenville to Riverdale—if you leave your house today, there’s a good chance that in addition to sweating, you’ll hear at least one musician sawing away at their craft. One crucial part of the Make Music NY festivities is the Mass Appeal initiative, in which non-professional musicians are invited to join concerts happening all around the city. The centerpiece event of Mass Appeal is taking place tonight in Times Square, when any non-laryngitic people in the area are invited to add their voice to a choral performance that includes the world premiere of “The New Rule,” a new work by Philip Glass. But those of you who have ukuleles, clarinets, or bagpipes can join in on the fun, too. Sound of the City’s top six picks for today’s “show up and play” gigs below.
A group of clarinetists will perform pieces by Mozart, Ravel, and others; after their brief performance, interested reedists can join in.
WHEN/WHERE: Washington Square Park, 5:45 p.m.
This three-hour salute to the adorable string instrument will have a sing-and-strum-along from 5 to 6 p.m. and performances by “NYC’s deep roster of ukulele all-stars” until 8.
WHEN/WHERE: McCarren Park Field House (Lorimer St. and Bedford Ave., Brooklyn), 5 p.m.
What better way to celebrate a really really hot day than to tote around a huge set of bagpipes? Pipe master Patrick Duffy will lead musicians through a selection of Irish, Scottish, and American standards. Kilts optional, although they’d certainly offer the men out there more of a breezy summer-style option than pants.
WHEN/WHERE: 34th St. and Broadway, 7 p.m.
Composer Daniel Goode will take an afternoon tour of SoHo expressly designed to turn as many of the neighborhood’s cast-iron buildings into gongs as possible. You bring your hands, he supplies the map and the suggested rhythms for clapping.
WHEN/WHERE: Spring Street and Sixth Ave., 1 p.m.
Choral conductor Kent Tritle will lead a choir in an hourlong performance that includes the world premiere of Philip Glass’s “The New Rule.” The Glass piece’s score is available for download at NPR’s website, while scores for the program’s other pieces are available at Make Music NY’s official site.
WHEN/WHERE: Times Square (Broadway and W. 46th St.), 6:30 p.m.
The composer John P. Hastings and the audience will turn DUMBO’s ConEd substation into a “sonic space” when they perform his piece for “participatory humming,” HUM 7 8 9. (The score will be handed out on index cards.)
WHEN/WHERE: ConEd Farragut Substation (Plymouth St. between Gold and Bridge Sts., Brooklyn), 7 p.m.
Details on other Mass Appeal events—some of which are closed to further registration, others of which have an “email us and we’ll let you know if there’s space” policy—are at the Make Music NY official site. (There’s one just for violas!)