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Venezuelan Musicians Pursue World's Largest Orchestra Record

Members of the National Orchestra System gather to try and break a Guinness World Record for most instruments used in a piece of music, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.  The musicians, all connected with the country’s network of youth orchestras, will play a 12-minute Tchaikovsky piece at a military base under the watchful eyes of hundreds of independent supervisors tasked with verifying that more than 8,097 instruments are played at the same time. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Members of the National Orchestra System gather to try and break a Guinness World Record for most instruments used in a piece of music, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. The musicians, all connected with the country’s network of youth orchestras, will play a 12-minute Tchaikovsky piece at a military base under the watchful eyes of hundreds of independent supervisors tasked with verifying that more than 8,097 instruments are played at the same time. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Caracas, Venezuela (AP) -- Hundreds of violins, violas and double basses sounded at Venezuela’s military academy Saturday, then woodwinds, brass and percussion gradually joined in — and thousands of musicians, mostly children and adolescents, were playing with a single goal: setting the record as the world’s largest orchestra.

The musicians, all connected to the country’s network of youth orchestras, performed a roughly 10-minute Tchaikovsky piece outdoors under the watchful eyes of independent supervisors with the job of verifying that more than 8,097 instruments were playing simultaneously, which would break the current record. The country's music network, known as “El Sistema,” had hoped to gather 12,000 musicians.