Piano Teacher N4

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Classical Crossover


There are many sounds that characterise different types of music. Piano music written in the Romantic style has chordal textures and more dissonant harmonies when compared to classical piano music. Baroque keyboard music featured more imitative interplay and use of repeated motifs. But music styles and genres can be defined not just in terms of the music itself, but external factors such as instrumentation. Punk rock of the 1970s has open chords, rhythmic guitar riffs and emphasised drum beats, but it is probably the electric guitars, drums and quasi-shouted words that give it its definitive sound.

It is these associations that film composers exploit when it comes to using music to support film. Play string quartet music and you are transported back centuries to the stately times of kings, queens and knights. Film makers can opt to use rock and roll music to accompany scenes of 1950s America. And if you are watching a programme on television about modern life in urban cities, perhaps the montage of scenes to speed up the passage of time may be accompanied by music which involves a hip hop beat and rapping. The music evokes associations of time, place and meaning.

And while broad categories of music have their distinct sound, it is not uncommon to find the deliberate blending of elements from different genres to create a new synthesis of sound. The violinist Nigel Kennedy was famous in the 1980s for his pop-Classical interpretations of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Classical music has always lent itself to reinterpretation, and crossovers, because there is a vast corpus of centuries of work to draw from and experiment in. In 1965 a group called The Toys took a Bach minuet and gave it the pop treatment to become a song called "A Lover's Concerto". This was the impetus for Classically- and jazz-trained pianist Walter Murphy to embark on crossovers of his own; he achieved immense success with "A Fifth of Beethoven", the theme from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in a disco-fied form hitting the top spot of the Billboard Charts in 1976, and subsequently appearing on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Later crossover attempts were less successful, perhaps because the novelty had worn off, and disco was coming to the end of its natural life anyway, but at least Murphy outlived the life of his crossover attempts and went on to other successes, such as being known for being the composer of the cartoon "Family Guy".

If you are looking for a piano teacher around N4 to hold lessons at your home, please click here: Piano Teacher Finsbury Park (N4)