Classical music + pop music


Eh..they didn’t mention Wheesung’s :/

LOL, I thought they like Pachelbel’s Canon more than Bach’s Air on G String 😛

Classical music adds new spin to K-pop scene

Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on the G String” has become one of the most frequently aired pieces on Korean MTV recently, while girl groupies scream out of sheer joy at Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, noticing that their favorite boy band will soon come out on the stage to sing.


Though it may sound impossible, classical music has become a major source of inspiration for the country’s songwriters, through the means of sampling: the practice of capturing segments of existing recordings and including the captured “samples” in a new work. In fact, one of widespread beliefs among pop stars and album producers is that sampling well-known classical tunes is the surest guarantee of a song’s commercial success.

Female pop star Yangpa sampled Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major for her new song, “Love… What is it?” While Shin Hye-sung’s “First Person,” which has topped various music charts since it was released on his second album in late August, uses Bach’s “Air on the G String.”

Popular girl band SeeYa sampled Elgar’s “Salut d’amour” for their “Greeting of Love,” and sexy pop diva Ivy borrowed the melodies of Beethoven’s “For Elise” for her recent hit, “Sonata of Temptation.” In the past, such leading pop stars such as Shin Seung-hoon (Beethoven’s “Ich Liebe Dich” for his “Invisible Love”), Lee Hyun-woo (Vivaldi’s “Winter” from “the Four Seasons” for “On the next day after breakup”) and idol group TVXQ (Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 for “Triangle”) sampled classical music for their songs, which all became major hits. For one thing, most of the classical music sampled for pop songs are popular classical music (popular enough to be far more frequently heard at hotel lounges or restaurants than at performing arts venues). While such music sounds familiar even to those who don’t like classical music, it adds unique style and charisma to pop music when sampled, which may explain why pop-classic fusions easily become hits.

“With a widely-known classical music tune, even a new song can attain a high level of familiarity from the very beginning,” Ko Young-jo, a composer who has written songs for such bestselling divas as BoA and Baek Ji-young, said in an interview. “Classical music, by definition, has long been loved by much of the world, so no wonder it has something to be pleased about,” he continued.

There is, however, another, more commercial reason behind the seemingly unusual popularity of classical music in the pop musical market.

According to Korea Music Copyright Association, a Seoul-based organization which protects the interests of music copyright owners, the copyright of an original piece of music is under legal protection for 50 years. Most classical music, in this sense, can be freely sampled for a new work, without paying (unless a singer or a composer insists in sampling tunes directly from existing recordings, instead of freshly recording them for a new song).

“To sample pop music it takes a while to get copyright permission from the original copyright holder,” said Huh Young-ah, head of Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s Korean branch, in an interview. “Sometimes the composer of a new song cannot claim any legal right about the further use of his or her new song, because of the sampled segment.”

While fans’ reaction to such classical-pop crossovers are positive overall, critics tend to underestimate such an easy hit-generating formula.

“I don’t see any reason to hate such songs as long as a sampled part goes well with the rest of a song,” Oh Hyung-suk, 30, a Korea Exchange Bank employee who claims to be a fan of ’90s K-pop music, told The Korea Herald. “Frequent sampling of classical music only shows that the industry is focused on commercialism, instead of artistic completeness,” Im Jin-mo, 48, a renowned pop critic, argued.

Source: Korea Herald / By Lee Yong-sung

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