On Classical Music (mixing styles)

While searching out music with interesting time signatures, I came across Rachel Barton Pine’s cover of Spirit of the Radio. A most fascinating mix of classical and progressive rock performed on violin. Granted, the alternative time signature thing I wanted to use as an example is not readily apparent… its there of course, but the Rush version which includes percusion makes the use of 7/4 over 4/4 much more apparent. Yet, thats not the focus of this posting…

Its that exposure to a wide range of styles is key, and that bass guitar and classical music is pretty rare. Part of it no doubt is mindset, ie electric instruments and orchestral styles seem at odds with one another, albeit it is becoming more common. Ie, a full rock band with orchestral backup. Another aspect of course is material, few composers write for bass guitar and orchestra, and the song writing styles of most rock and roll sound writers often times does not transcend itself very well to writing a full score for an orchestra. Its not that it cant be done, but that its a huge challenge, and few have stepped up to the plate.

Thus, on the surface it appears we are limited before we even start… but not really, its just where to look. There is a wealth of material out there which can be used, albeit it may take some creative thought processes to get there. Just as a band I was in did a speed metal version of Johnny Cash’s Folsome Prison, as well as a C-W version of Ted Nugents Cat Scratch Fever years ago, one can also use a multitude of classical music, and morph it into any number of styles.

Then add in the capability of home studio recording, where one even with a modest built in sound card can add a multitude of differing instruments, and the sky is the limit when it comes to transceding and mixing multiple styles. Of course, the other key is having an appreciation for different styles to start with, and that begins with listening. Rachel Barton Pine is doing some amazing things with introducing rock fans to classical music…

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