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Crossover music

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(Redirected from Crossover jazz)

Crossover is a term applied to musical works or performers who appeal to different types of audience. This can be seen, for example, when a song appears on two or more of the record charts which track differing musical styles or genres.[1] If the second chart combines genres, such as a "Hot 100" list, the work is not a crossover.

In some contexts, the term "crossover" can have negative connotations associated with cultural appropriation, implying the dilution of a music's distinctive qualities to appeal to mass tastes. For example, in the early years of rock and roll, many songs originally recorded by African-American musicians were re-recorded by white artists such as Pat Boone in a more toned-down style, often with changed lyrics, that lacked the hard edge of the original versions. These covers were popular with a much broader audience.[2]

Crossover frequently results from the appearance of the music in a film soundtrack. For instance, Sacred Harp music experienced a spurt of crossover popularity as a result of its appearance in the 2003 film Cold Mountain, and bluegrass music experienced a revival due to the reception of 2000's O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

Classical crossover

Four-piece musical group Il Divo, a noted classical crossover act, performs in February 2012 at the Sydney Opera House.

Classical crossover broadly encompasses both classical music that has become popularized and a wide variety of popular music forms performed in a classical manner or by classical artists. It can also refer to collaborations between classical and popular performers, as well as music that blends elements of classical music (including operatic and symphonic) with popular music (including pop, rock, middle of the road, and Latin, among other types). Pop vocalists and musicians, opera singers, classical instrumentalists, and occasionally rock groups primarily perform classical crossover. Although the phenomenon was long common in the music world, the name "classical crossover" was coined by record companies in the 1980s.[3] It has gained in popularity since the 1990s and has acquired its own Billboard chart.[3]


A means of generating vast popularity for the classics has been through their use as inspirational anthems in sports settings. The aria "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot, especially Luciano Pavarotti's version, has become indissolubly linked with soccer.[4]

Classical performers


Within the classical recording industry, the term "crossover" is applied particularly to classical artists' recordings of popular repertoire such as Broadway show tunes. Two examples of this are Lesley Garrett's excursions into musical comedy and also José Carreras's recording West Side Story, as well as Teresa Stratas' recording Showboat. Soprano Eileen Farrell is generally considered to be one of the first classical singers to have a successful crossover recording with her 1960 album I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues.[5]

The first Three Tenors concert in 1990 was a landmark in which Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Plácido Domingo brought a combination of opera, Neapolitan folksong, musical theatre and pop to a vast television audience. This laid the foundations for the modern flourishing of classical crossover.[6]

Collaborations between classical and popular performers have included Sting and Edin Karamazov's album Songs from the Labyrinth. A collaboration between Freddie Mercury and soprano Montserrat Caballé resulted in the worldwide hit "Barcelona". R&B singer Mariah Carey performed a live duet with her mother Patricia, who is an opera singer, of the Christmas song - O Come, All Ye Faithful. Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins performed a duet with rock singer Michael Bolton of O Holy Night. Singers and instrumentalists from the classical tradition, Andreas Dorschel has argued, run the risk of losing the sophistication of the genre(s) they were trained in, when they try to perform rock music, without coming up to the often rough and wild qualities of the latter.[7]

Italian pop tenor Andrea Bocelli, who is the biggest-selling singer in the history of classical music,[8][9][10][11] has been described as the king of classical crossover.[12][13] British soprano Sarah Brightman is also considered a crossover classical artist,[14] having released albums of classical, folk, pop and musical-theatre music. Brightman dislikes the classical crossover label, though she has said she understands the need to categorize music.[15] In the 2008 Polish release of her Symphony album she sings "I Will Be with You (Where the Lost Ones Go)" with Polish tenor Andrzej Lampert, another artist who has performed in both classical and non-classical styles, as well as having actually obtained full musical training and academic degrees in both (though operatic singing is his main professional focus[16][17]).[18]

Jazz crossover


"Crossover jazz" (jazz crossover) and "jazz fusion" have something in common. Example albums of crossover jazz plus classical music were albums of Deodato, Jean-Luc Ponty and Bob James. Bob James One (CTI, 1974), contained the song "Feel Like Making Love", which Roberta Flack already had as a hit.[19] Radio stations played this song and contributed to the success of album One.[20] The album was notable for adapting classical music to a modern-day scene, e.g. "Night on Bald Mountain" was a cover of Modest Mussorgsky's composition of the same name.[21]

Rock crossover


Other examples of crossover in music are bands that play a mix of genres such as funk, rap, rock, metal and punk, for instance bands such as Urban Dance Squad, Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I., Primus, Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down[22] and 311.

The sub-genre of nu-metal is one of the best embodiments of the crossover style. The genre includes elements of disparate genres such as hip hop, metal, alternative rock, funk, industrial, and grunge. The genre mixes these influences alongside downtuned guitars and persistent rhythms less common in traditional heavy metal genres, which emphasises lead guitar and solos less common in these other genres.

See also



  1. ^ Lonergan, Hit Records, 1950–1975, p. vi: "These [Country & Western and Rhythm & Blues], and the somewhat newer Adult Contemporary charts, occasionally exhibited what are called 'crossover' hits, when a Pop, C&W, or R&B star would have a hit that also charted on one or more of the other lists.
  2. ^ Gilliland 1969, show 4, track 5; show 6, track 4.
  3. ^ a b "Música Classical Crossover". artdancemovies.com (in Spanish). 24 August 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Nessun Dorma put football back on map", The Telegraph, 7 September 2007 (accessed 24 September 2015).
  5. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (25 March 2002). "Eileen Farrell, Soprano With a Populist Bent, Dies at 82". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Fryer, Paul (2014). Opera in the Media Age: Essays on Art, Technology and Popular Culture. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 128. ISBN 978-1476616209. [O]pera-pop crossovers as a phenomenon truly took off in the 1990s, from the Three Tenors concert onwards.
  7. ^ Andreas Dorschel, 'Entgrenzung der klassischen Musik?', grazkunst 04.2017, pp. 24−25.
  8. ^ "Operation Bocelli: the making of a superstar". The Age. Melbourne. 26 February 2003.
  9. ^ "Andrea Bocelli in Abu Dhabi". 2 March 2009.
  10. ^ "REVIEW: Classical music star Andrea Bocelli at Liverpool arena". Liverpool Daily Post. 7 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Andrea Bocelli Announces November 2010 UK Arena Dates". Allgigs.
  12. ^ "The king of Operatic pop". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 August 2004. Retrieved 19 January 2008.
  13. ^ Domingo And Bocelli: Keeping Opera Relevant, National Public Radio radio interview, 21 November 2008.
  14. ^ "Sarah Brightman". Sarah Brightman Tickets. 14 August 1960. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Sarah Brightman fan site". 123allcelebs.com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  16. ^ "Polish Tenor Impresses Salzburg". 13 September 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Andrzej Lampert, XVIII Ludwik van Beethoven Easter Festival". Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Andrzej Lampert, tenor: Schedule". Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Bob James - One". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  20. ^ "Bob James | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  21. ^ Bob James Night on Bald Mountain Retrieved 20 February 2024
  22. ^ "SYSTEM OF A DOWN'S 'TOXICITY': 10 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW". Revolver. 4 September 2018.



Further reading

  • Szwed, John F. (2005). Crossovers: Essays on Race, Music, And American Culture. ISBN 0-8122-3882-6.
  • Brackett, David (Winter 1994). "The Politics and Practice of 'Crossover' in American Popular Music, 1963–65" The Musical Quarterly 78:4.
  • George, Nelson. (1988). The Death of Rhythm & Blues. New York: Pantheon Books.