How Classical Music Influences Popular Music Today

Classical music, although not the most popular genre, is one of the most inspiring. Mozart, Beethoven, and countless other classical composers each created pieces of music that captivated the world’s attention and stood the test of time.

But did you know that classical music largely influenced almost every genre of today’s popular music? There is a lot to be learned from the pioneers of classical music, and in this blog post, we’ll share just a few of the ways they impacted modern music.

Before we look at a couple different ways that classical music has influenced musicians today, let’s define what exactly classical music is. Classical music is music that was written during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

It’s a traditional genre of music that is known for its strict adherence to musical principles. The Classical era is also known as the “golden age of music,” and it gave birth to what we now know as the “symphony,” “concerto,” and “sonata.”

One of the main ways that classical music has impacted today’s popular music is with the chorus. The chorus, or the short melody repeated throughout most songs, was first seen during the Classical era. A vast majority of songs we hear on the radio today are structured to include a chorus. It’s typically the part of the song we remember the most, and we have the Classical era to thank for it!

The Baroque period, which is often associated with classical music, also had a notable influence on contemporary music – particularly the rock genre. Many modern rock songs copy the original intensity and complexity that you’ll observe in music from the Baroque period. Several rock artists, including Led Zeppelin and Muse, have also stated that composers from the Romantic period influenced their music.

Many of today’s pop songs are based on a handful of chords and sequences that were discovered during the Classical period. When you listen to artists like Adele, you might not even recognize the rich history that has gone into the music. Lady Gaga has also adopted Baroque themes into many of her songs.

An article from Cleveland stated that whether it’s with song structure or content,

“modern musicians definitely have an ear for ‘old’ composers.”

We can see just how true this is in several well-known songs that directly imitate classical compositions.

Here are just a few mainstream songs (from a variety of genres) that noticeably have a classical influence:

Muse – “Plug in Baby”
Evanescence – “Lacrymosa”
Ludacris – “Coming 2 America”
Barry Manilow – “Could it be Magic”
Queen – “It’s a Hard Life”
The Beatles – “Because”

Now that you know how classical music has left its mark in history, have some fun with this personality quiz from TakeLessons. You’ll find out which famous classical pianist your personality and musical style resemble the most. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Beethoven!

Take the quiz below:

> Drooble Song Reviews <

Find out which famous artist your music reminds of & get useful feedback.

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  1. Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are available to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. Popular music is music which isn’t something else (usually ‘folk’ or ‘art’ music). Popular music is associated with (produced for or by) a particular social category. Popular music is disseminated by mass media and/or in a mass market. Popular music is also rarely completely instrumental. Popular music isn’t really all about ‘being heard’, but instead about ‘being heard’; and ‘being heard again and again and again’ is what really common music is really about. Pop is contemporary music and a Frequent Kind of popular music (distinguished from classical or art music and from folk songs


    Does someone know any modern song that was inspired in any of the Baroque Composers

  3. Tori Amos did an album written around pieces by the greats, and it was amazing. I didn’t know any of the pieces she used, but I finally heard each of them, I was surprised how little she actually used from the older pieces to make such an epic, truly badass album.

  4. Michael from Germany

    So there we are. Another day finding another idea about wha classical music must be appreciated as relevant to this second and beyond.
    But let me tell you this isn’t true at all. To enlist few song titles that drew directly from so called classical music pieces without offering further proof to the claim doesn’t prove anything. I did play all Parodius games and also all Gradius games. Doesn’t that make me a classical music buff now? Of course not. Because non of the pieces uses the entire classical music piece but only small fractions. What is the purpose of that? Do some artists feel they become more relevant or is it simply catering to the elites that want to stay relevant?

    Think about it. If it wasn’t for Schumann, a late Classical composer himself, nobody would care about this old music today. Schumann literally invented the classical music elitism and all the snob-ish ideas about it ever since.
    Relevant? To whom?

    Most pop music pieces I have been listening to since I became consciously aware of music as such have never been drained in classical music relationship of any sort ever.
    Nothing claimed in this articlehas ever been proven beyond the claims themselves. Classical music only became sort of relevant when I was being ‘educated’ about some pieces of music and where they would be found when they were crafted in a specific time/period/era. But even modern movie scores, be they the last real connection to Romantic music etc., are not classical music but means of modern score music to give movies a specific push.
    And since old composers never really wrote music to transcend their own time into our future I wonder why elitists try to establish this regressive idealism. They could have never known what is to come and to prepare their music more carefully for future audiences. They were also merely a product of their time,fashion trends, pop culture, politics, social debates, philosophy, sophistry, religion etc. To transcend this old music into modern times can in the last consequence only mean one thing. That you guys still try to push your outdated agendas and ideasl into modern societies.
    When pop musicians use samples or fragments from older music they build on older ideals to form new ideals, to reflect more openly on how things have changes since not to honor the dead.

    Keep this in mind.

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