View Full Version : Crossover Music!

Frederik Magle
Mar-01-2004, 01:29
One of the main topics in this forum is Crossover Music. So what does "crossover music" mean? Well, generally it means blending (crossing) of different genre, and in this case mainly "classical" and...well, everything else. And by "classical" I mean "score-music". Exactly what "classical" means and don't mean is a long discussion, and there are many different opinions and crossover is not going to make it easier to answer. Anyhow, "crossover" is in my opinion an interesting experimenting field with great opportunities to break down boundries and open up to new musical realms. I will be working with this field myself and I believe it will become an important part of this forum.

Mr. Lazy
Mar-01-2004, 22:53
If I got what you meant right (which I doubt!), I think a good example of what you mean would be Vannessa-Mae or Bond...they took classical music, like Toccata and Fugue and added a pop sound... Also, Yngwie Malmsteen does it a lot where he takes old songs written by Beethoven and the like and then plays them real metal... sounds pretty cool sometimes... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Frederik Magle
Mar-03-2004, 11:29
Well, you could call those examples (Vannessa Mae, Malmsteen etc.) a kind of crossover. It is however not the "crossover" I'm going to be working with myself, since it's not original music but instead transcripts or arrangements of already exisiting classical works into a different genre. Generally I'm not a fan of it, but there are examples with musical qualities, f.ex. Emerson, Lake & Palmer's arrangement of "Romeo & Juliet" (Prokofiev). That actually works without sounding "cheesy" imo. Most of it does though, take f.ex. Helmuth Lotti... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smash.gif

However, what I find interesting is when classical and other genre (electronica, jazz, rock etc.) meets in new original music. That's where the real exciting stuff happens! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Mar-06-2004, 10:12
hey... what's the matter with Helmut Lotti? https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif - some of his orchestral scores are actually quite nice - albeit it is generally somewhat "cheasy"... though... there are gems to be found in there... if one does not give up listening to it...

in my world of concepts the word "crossover" has a lot more to do with the inter-contextuallity of subjects... - it started out, as I recall it, being "remixes" of classical hits - like bach's "air" from his 3. orchestra suite in g major "Air on a G string" and other "traditional/harmless" classical pieces, used as a sort of background mixed with a current "beat" and voicings to make a piece of music not only nested in the past (of Bach) but also very much current with an expression not entirely new - but not "classical" perse.
You can then argue whether we can go "back" to music pieces such as "Go West" by The Pet Shop Boys whos tonal and harmonic structure, although sound quite the 80'ies, acutually is a complete "rip of" of Pachelbels famous Canon - I've actually made a band arrangement of this piece where the 3 horn parts continuously play the Pachelbel canon throughout the piece and it fits like a "hand in a glove" (as the expression is in Danish)... is that "crossover"? - probably not, since the thematics from the canon is not represented in the "new rendition".
Crossover like Postmodernism, is not that easy at all to decipher since it has been used to cover a great deal of "unlabled" music... - and we humans like to label things as much as possible... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif - there's also the concept of "new age" - which to most people dealing with much probably have some kind of a negative "ring" to it... but I also think that that's a term which has been used to cover a great deal too.

I'll return later to this subject - it's early (for me) on a Saturday to be up and about which probably explains all of my "musings" here on this subject. - But I hope we can get a debate started on this. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Mar-29-2004, 19:27
I've got sort of a different take on "crossover". To me it happens when a piece in one genre (say 'country and western') is so good (and popular) that it gets picked up by another (genre) say 'rock'. I'm using 'genre' in the context of which radiostations play the pieces. A good example of what I mean is Phil Collins, whose songs you hear everywhere........

May-18-2004, 12:18
In my opinion it's not crossover when you make an arrangment of music from whatever genre to whatever other genre.
Crossover has to contain elements from different genres.
Just my opinion (very short)


Hans Arvid
Jul-19-2004, 08:41
I agree of the above said. Crossover has to contain elements of both worlds. It can have even more elements, as long as they keep their respective unicity(whatever that is). So, writing for cembalo, el. guitar and djembe drums would to me be quite meaningless, unless you preserve each elements' special characteristika. The cembalo "must" smell early baroque, the guitar "must" smoke Hendrix and the djembe "must" echoe from down deep Africa.
To be more specific, every instrument must be given its idiomatic "space".
This is not a humble opinion. :devil It's just the way I define Crossover for myself. I like it and try to write such pieces, as well. I'll attach one example as a MIDI here and let you judge for yourself if my thesis holds.
(Ensemble: Fl, Ob, Bsn, El.G, Pno, El.Bass, Triangle). The score can be printed out from this address: hppt://members.sibeliusmusic.com/HansArvid

Hans Arvid
Jul-20-2004, 15:02

Sep-03-2004, 20:32
For me, this is the most important issue in music. That is, how to reconcile "pop" music and, uh, "serious" music. I don't really like either terms, but they'll have to suffice. I'm sure we all know what I mean.

There is one ensemble that perfectly captures what "crossover" is to me. They are an American group called "Rachel's." I strongly reccomend that anyone interested in this topic look them up. It may or may not be excellent music (since quality is entirely subjective) but it is definitely worth listening.

A question:

Is "crossover" a process or a product? Or is it both?

Please, everyone, share examples of what you consider to be "crossover" music.

Frederik Magle
Sep-14-2004, 13:02
I don't like the terms either but of course I understand what you mean.
I will take a look at "Rachel's" when I get some more time... I will also try to make a little list of crossover examples.

Regarding your question: I do think it is both.
The way I work with crossover is on the "classical" scoring foundation and a (contemporary) "classical" approach to form and instrumentation/orchestration but with heavy inspiration from other genre such as jazz and rock. The inspiration can be heard in some of the rythmical elements for example. Also, in performing crossover music you will often find a blend of classically trained and jazz/rock/pop etc. (again lacking a good term) musicians. This of course also affects the way the music will be written down and performed.

So the "crossover" starts at the drawing table and goes alll the way, and thus is both a process and the final product.

Oct-10-2004, 17:53
Does William Orbit albun 'Pieces In a Modern Style' a favorite of anyone's here?

I really enjoy this music; not OTT or too 'upbeat', just interesting enough so as to sound somewhat unique (if that is possible by recording an existing score??).

Having said that I also enjoy his 'upbeat' version of Adagio...;)

Oct-12-2004, 18:47
Hello Rob is my name,i am a DJ i play a crossover of Ambient and Space music(some of you my call Ambient new age, there is a difference)if you want to know more about Ambient put this name in a search engin ::CTI:: (aka Chris and Cozy)they come from England and combine modern electronics with classical music.
I have also made some crossover(SOUNDSCAPES)music.
If you go to Google anr type in the name::OAMBIENTONE:::you will come directely to it,you are able to download it.
I would like to hear your oppinions of it.
This is a nice web-site,so friendly

Oct-22-2004, 14:56
Crossover is incredibly difficult to categorise or even define, when a musician is in their infancy of discovering and learning an instrument or indeed thier voice, influences, technique and natural style will often be something they themselves can't put a finger on.
Like for instance a guitarist who at an early stage in learning(be it training or just self teaching) will be able to 'feel' things without knowing it.
For example some notes in a simple blues improvisation that they may perform with certain inflections or natural musicianship this is often subconcious and is down to the music they have been exposed to. They may be perfoming a short easy classical study but with a subconcious 'blues feel' as that again is music they have been exposed to, or vice versa.

This is eluding to the way we learn or even think about music, it is so organic and instinctive that we crossover all the time.

To deliver a certain tone in a piece of music we may resort to a traditional technique or we might play with a different feel deliberately to better communicate a point.

Often a good way of showing examples of established and well thought out cross over is to look at artists that had success in tne field they are expert in and why and where they crossed into other styles and what response this was met with,

Example, not everyone likes bach but Jacques Loussier was able to sell thousands and thousands of records swinging many different examples of Bach's writings within a small ensemble.
His piano playing was of a very high standard, he like many musicians saw the many references that have been drawn by pop, rock and jazz to bach's understanding and development of harmony but instead of then using that as inspiration he takes examples of the original materiale.g preludes, chorales, passacaglia's etc and pulls it out of authentic performance practice and experiments with it as structure for improvisation and differnet feel.

Paco de lucia is possibly the most respected and lauded flamenco guitarist of recent times has worked within the field of Jazz with many of that genre's long standing and inovative contemporary artists, his crosovers have won much critical and popular acclaim.

Yo yo ma, the cellist is another interesting one, he has released disc's of latin amercian music, tango and choros.
This style of music demands a high standard of technical ability and an understanding of development in music, thins yo yo ma has as a classically trained musician. The type of music though is historically played by street musicians and improvisers seeped in the culture of Argentina and brazil.
His crossover brought this music to a wider classical audience but defnately didn't crossover in an inovative and forward looking way.

Anyway jsut some thoughts.


www.matthewmcallister.com (http://www.matthewmcallister.com)

James McFadyen
Oct-24-2004, 12:14
This is a subject very close to me, as with just about every other professional composer, as we don't like to be pigeon-holed into a particular style.

On one hand you have John Adams, a composer who combined Minimalism and Romantisism, his music is as energetic as Steve Reich and his Orchestrations with the clarity and sophistication of Stravinsky.

And although John Adams is certainly not a minimalist composer by any means, he uses this as a fuel but romantisism is so much part of his music, combining the two to make music which cannot be pigeon-holed and is unqiue to himself.

In my own classical music there are references to Jazz, especially in the harmony and in my Dance music there are strong classical references. I try to find new paths in music by adding a new dimension that would ordinarily not be found within that idiom. That's the way I work, anyway.

Dec-04-2004, 05:56
Well, I'm pretty young, but growing up my father played a lot of music for me from the 70's that I would consider to be crossover. His favorite was a band called "Yes". I have their CD "Yessongs", a live set, and it opens with an excerpt from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. Their music is much more classically influenced than anything else I've heard, and all of the band members are/were accomplished classical musicians. Some of my favorites are "Heart of the Sunrise" and "And You and I", but take a listen and you will find many amazing pieces that are more classical in structure than most pop music you've ever heard.


Jul-05-2005, 17:51
I think Yes was probably considered a crossover band, when they started out in the 70:s. But during that period, a lot of bands (like Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd, etc.) suddenly emerged, introducing odd time signatures, uncommon scales, and merging many different musical styles into rock. Nowadays, this kind of rock music is commonly referred to as progressive rock.

Tony Bray
Aug-18-2005, 07:50
Its looks like there might be just a difference in terminology generating from this side of the Atlantic (or Pacific depending on what direction you are coming from) Our friend at hitsware is coming from the perception that you would get from here in the states. "Crossover" usually refers to sales and what would crossover from one pop genre to another. Crossover in this forum seems to refer to crossing genres. or as Hans describes as staying true to several genres but retaining elements of them all.

I want to check out "Rachel's" what is the link?

www.tonybraymusic.com (http://www.tonybraymusic.com)

Tony Bray
Aug-18-2005, 07:57
sorry...I didn't mean to dismiss merula's post. That perception would often be referred to as "selling out." Not in a negative sense. It is what it is. If crossing genres makes something more popular. I feel that Its healthy that it turns more people onto a genre that they might not otherwise check out.

Oct-16-2005, 07:31
A bit of trivia for y'all...

Days of Future Past, first Stereo Rock and Roll album, happened to have a lot of crossover music (not the least of which was Nights in White Satin)... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Oct-16-2005, 07:33
Our friend at hitsware is coming from the perception that you would get from here in the states. "Crossover" usually refers to sales and what would crossover from one pop genre to another. Crossover in this forum seems to refer to crossing genres.

When people say "Crossover Appeal" they usually mean from a Genre to Mainstream, be it film, music, or whatever...

Jun-10-2007, 18:12
Please, everyone, share examples of what you consider to be "crossover" music.

To me, the best example of what I understand for "crossover music" is the one performed by HECTOR ZAZOU.

This French composer (born in Argelia) makes some of the most interesting music I know. A mix of "music-from-everywhere" with rock, classical, electronic... And the list of guests in his discs is pretty amazing: Lisa Gerrard, Brendan Perry, David Sylvian, Barbara Gogan, Björk, Suzanne Vega, John Cale, Caroline Lavelle, Jon Hassell, among other greats.

Some of my favorite albums:

- Songs from the Cold Seas
- Sahara Blue
- Made on Earth
- Lights in the Dark

MySpace of the artist:

http://www.myspace.com/hectorzazou (http://www.myspace.com/hectorzazou)

I do love his music!!!

Not to mention that the audio quality of his recordings is usually superb!!!