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  • Chris Anderson

The Role Of Classical Music In Modern Music Production

Think of Classical music and you’re unlikely to think of modern genres of music. However, the classical world has had a huge influence on today’s music and let’s face it - without Classical music we wouldn’t have any other form of music as it all grew from it. In this blog I explore some of the ways that Classical music influences popular music (“and other children’s records”*)

Classical music has been a significant influence on the music industry for many reasons. One reason is the use of classical instruments in modern music. Classical instruments like the piano, violin, cello, and others have a rich and recognisable sound that has been incorporated into many popular songs. For example, the piano is often used as the main instrument in ballads, other slow-tempo songs, and rock ’n’ roll. While string instruments like the violin and cello are often used to create an emotional and dramatic effect, as well as a certain warmth.

Additionally, classical music has influenced modern music through the use of classical techniques. Techniques like counterpoint, harmony, and orchestration are all elements of classical music that have been incorporated into modern music. For instance, in pop music, harmonies are often used to create a fuller sound, while in hip-hop, orchestration is used to create a cinematic effect. Songwriters such as Mika use counterpoint a lot in their songs. Counterpoint is where you have more than one melody interweaving with each other. This song is a great example as it demonstrates counterpoint AND an orchestra!

Another way in which classical music has influenced modern music is through the sampling and remixing of classical compositions. Sampling is a technique where a producer takes a portion of an existing song and uses it in a new composition. Many popular songs have used this technique, and classical compositions are no exception. For example, the song "Numb/Encore" by Jay-Z and Linkin Park sampled the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14, also known as the "Moonlight Sonata.” Some people think that it is lazy when people do this, but I think that if there is something that’s already perfect out there, why not use it? It’s better than reinventing the wheel. Of course due credit needs to be given, otherwise it’s just plagiarism.

Classical music continues to play an important role in music education and development for many contemporary musicians. Classical training is often seen as an essential foundation for developing technical proficiency and musical sophistication. Many popular artists, such as Kanye West, Beyonce, and Alicia Keys, have been influenced by classical composers and performers and have even incorporated classical elements into their work.

Classical music has played a significant role in the music industry, from the use of classical instruments and techniques to the sampling and remixing of classical compositions. Additionally, classical training continues to be an important part of music education and development for many contemporary musicians.

*Quote by Tom Lehrer - American Satirist and Musician.

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