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Pop Classical Music Fusion

People have gotten too overly significant in their thinking about these two genres they have made-up; ‘pop’ and ‘classical.’ There are far more arguments in favor of their similarity than their differences. One need only point out that the two most similar periods of music, in terms of musical practice are Baroque and Jazz; in both musical practices, musicians read from chord charts and improvised.

A composer like Beethoven, who had the need to reinvent himself to the degree that music historians had to put his musical output into three periods, tended to foreshadow future musical periods. One of my favorite things to do in music school was to play a very late Beethoven piano sonata for a fellow music student and ask them who was the composer. They didn’t know but Count Basie came up quite a bit.

I used to horrify fellow musicians in the symphony by pointing out how similar to Gershwin certain parts of The Rite Of Spring by Igor Stravinsky were. These comments were treated as utter sacrilege but it turns out, in interviews, Stravinsky confessed to being quite fond of American Jazz and worked the ‘primitive sounds’ into his compositions.

So pop classical music fusion might simply be the ultimate opening up of a broader palette of sounds for the composer or songwriter to work with. Perhaps it was meant to work out this way. What we think of as ‘pop’ music may only be a further tweak in the tapestry we call music.