Neoclassical dark wave

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Neoclassical dark wave refers to a subgenre of dark wave music that is characterized by an ethereal atmosphere and angelic female vocals as well as strong influences from classical music.[1] Neoclassical dark wave is distinct from the art music form known as neoclassical music, a style of classical music dating from the early twentieth century. In the context of popular music, the term 'neoclassical' is frequently used to refer to music influenced by classical (including elements from the baroque, classical, romantic, impressionistic music).

Historical context[edit]

In the middle of the 1980s, the bands Dead Can Dance and In the Nursery released influential albums which essentially laid the foundations of the Neoclassical dark wave genre.[1][2] In 1985 Dead Can Dance released Spleen and Ideal, which initiated the band's 'medieval European sound.'[3] In 1987 In the Nursery released Stormhorse, which exhibited a bold, cinematic style and a symphonic/post-industrial sound lending itself to 'being envisioned as backing music for a dramatic epic.'[4] This music, 'clearly more inspired by the classical than the rock tradition, had a melancholy, visionary and sometimes nostalgic quality'.

Notable labels[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Strother, Eric S. (2019). Sturman, Janet (ed.). The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. SAGE Publications. ISBN 978-1-50635-338-8.
  2. ^ Vantyghem, Pieter (2019). "The Serpent's Egg". 365 albums die je beluisterd moet hebben (in Dutch). Lannoo Meulenhoff. ISBN 978-9-40145-972-3.
  3. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Review of Spleen and Ideal". allMusic Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Review of Stormhorse". allMusic Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2008.