Modern popular songs based on classical music.


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This is an incredible list! I'm going through my iPod now and listening again for the first time. lol.

Great post - thank you for the wealth of info.


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I wonder, would Jack Fina`s 'Bumble Boogie' (based on Rimsky-Korsakov`s 'The Flight of the Bumblebee') count as a popular song?...:)
I used to have Neil Diamond's version Bumble Boogie on his You Don't
bring me flowers album. Look it up!
judy tooley

Corno Dolce

Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler
*I Will Never Fall In Love Again* - based on the 3rd movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony.


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Bernstein's lovely "Somewhere" from West Side Story, must be based from the adagio of Beethoven's 5th piano concerto. When "steeling" is done so spirited and lovely and respectfull I love it.

Wonderfull list Mr. Jason


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oh, so many... I cant even recall them right now. Well, the latest one that I heard was, I think by Celine Dion, and it samples Vivaldi's Four Seasons (I may be wrong).

Does anyone know what I am talking about, I'd love to know the name of that song...


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A lot more in pop set to classical pieces than I thoght.

Half the songs I grew up loving it seems were some obscure or forgotten cover.
Jimmy Page sure was inventive, whereever he got is influences from.
Still remember him playing his axe like a violin on Kashmir.
I always thought Led Zeppelin to be more than just a metal band.

All music seems to be copped or borrowed from somewhere.
I like some orchastral rock also with a lot of stiring sound and other acoustical instruments.
I wonder how many times some classical piece is stumbled upon in that when writing.


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Introduction of "Atom heart mother" by Pink Floyd is a Bach's Prelude.
Introduction of "La canzone dell'amore perduto" (the song of the lost love) by F. de Andrè is taken from the Trumpet Concert by Telemann and a theme of "La Collina" (the hill) by the same Italian singer is Chopin's.
In jazz music there are gregorian modes.


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You never thought of Bon Jovi's slippery when wet's first song as being
a piece written by Beethoven. Not to mention the group Electric Light
Orchestra doing a lot of their music based on Beetoven and Paccini.
I hope I spelled that right. The Moody blues did an album called Days
of Future Passed that was supposed to the the answer to Divozak's
New world symphony.
judy tooley


New member
Hi there...

I just wanted to say that there is an crossover artist that gives credit to the original composer,actually he did'n even change the names of the pieces and they are still popular in clubs everywhere,especially in croatia(maybe becouse he's croatian:) )

Anyway,his name is Maxim Mrvica,and his first crossover album is named "the piano player".He's very popular in Japan,lives in London....
I was on his concert last summer,I have to admit that I heard better as well as worse,but the album is great.
Some of the pieces are:The flight of the bumblebee
Grieg's piano concert in a-minor
Handell's sarabande
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
Chopin's revolutionary etude in c-minor
Maybe you'll like it...

Yours truly

I was actually thinking of Maksim at the time I almost started to read this. I saw his performance on Bumblebee and it was great! I say he's making an identity for himself. A punk playing classical. It worked. :D


I heard the Pet Shop Boys' Go West on the radio yesterday, and it dawned on me that it uses the same chord progression as Pachelbel's Canon. I looked it up for confirmation, and discovered that the song was originally by the Village People. (Well, after Pachelbel.) Who knew? :grin:


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^ That's what makes me sick. Not giving credit to someone who inspired your song (you more or less "stole" it then). I see this a lot in hip-hop and rap. One band that I see this happen with a lot is Led Zeppelin. They never seem to get credit for the many songs who have used Zeppelinesque samples.
hip hop and rap in my view is not a musical genre,it is a load of rubbish for talentless Shoot dribblers who steal other peoples sounds and make a total discrace out of it,and become famous out of doing it.....what is the world coming to.........


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Have you ever seen the "Pachelbel Rant" on iTunes? Not only is it hilarious, but it does an AMAZING job of finding the Pachelbel chord progression in almost everything! I especially appreciate it, given that it has the world's most boring cello part.

As to the original question, check out the band Renaissance and their "Scheherazade & Other Stories" - aninterpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov's 'epic work, complete with full orchestra . They also did a beautiful, haunting tue built on Bach, but the details elude me just now, and my ex took the album it was on.


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Staff member
Very nice. Thanks for the link. If you've got more of that kind of classical music, feel free to post.


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From Wikipedia:
"All by Myself" is a power ballad written and performed by Eric Carmen in 1975. It borrows very heavily from the second movement (Adagio Sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18, which Carmen believed was in the public domain. Having found it was not, only after the record had been issued, Carmen had to come to an agreement with the Rachmaninoff estate.

I am always amazed at the number of people who assume - oh its classical music, so it must be in the public domain.
(snort, giggle)


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Has anybody brought up the "Elvira Madigan" theme? I can remember seeing CDs with containers that called that famous movement from Mozart's Piano Conerto #21 the "Elvira Madigan theme", when the disc was the concerto and had nothing to do with the movie. Surely a case of trying to use something "modern" to sell a well-known piece.

Ah, the world of marketing!!


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As to the original question, check out the band Renaissance and their "Scheherazade & Other Stories" - aninterpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov's 'epic work, complete with full orchestra . They also did a beautiful, haunting tue built on Bach, but the details elude me just now, and my ex took the album it was on.

Renaissance also did Albinoni's Adagio as "Cold is Being" , I've got about 6 of their Albums on Vinyl and cassette, also saw them live twice.

Sky did the Bach Toccata, and a very straight (just skipped a couple of repeats) of Rameau's Gavotte and variations and also one of Satie's Gymnopodie.

Going back a bit further, Kenny Ball did Fur Elise and a Rondo, even further and Art Tatum did Humeresque back in the 1940s, so plagiarism started well back. Some do it well, others don't.

Andrew Roussak

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Not sure if it was already said somewhere here in this thread...

One of the greatest hits of Phil Collins "Groovy Kind Of Love" was recorded in 1988 actually as a film soundtrack. This was a cover version already - the song was composed in 1965 by a British band Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders.

And, in turn, the huge melody - the hookline - of the piece is the first 8 bars of Sonatina G dur of Muzio Clementi, 3rd Movement of it, Op 36 N 5. The melody is not even slightly changed, and the original of the piece is seldom mentioned. So , I guess, most of Phil Collins' fans beleive he has himself composed it!:)


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Hello, this is my first post on this forum. I think that crossover music is really great way to introduce great classical music to wider masses. I myself have started to compose this kind of music after a lot of soul searching and I would like to introduce my first song