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What exactly is a Classical Duo?

This is a question we have been asking ourselves for some time. Firstly what does anyone think a classical duo is, and secondly are JAM Duo a Classical Duo? To answer these questions we have to try and define a classical duo and then ask whether our Cello and Piano Duo fit this answer.

Classical, when referring to music, for most people implies music that is from a time around 100 or more years in the past. Composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Chopin would probably be most peoples idea of classical composers. Opera would also fall into this category as would anything which is orchestral. Basically it’s the music which Classic FM or BBC Radio 3 will play to you, as opposed to the dulcet tones of Radio 1 and 2 for example.

Strictly speaking the dictionary definition of classical music is nothing to do with age or time or style but simply the fact that it has been notated – ie written down as a musical score.

By this definition then a lot of film music is also regarded a classical music on the basis that the vast majority will be written down and scored for an orchestra.

To be a classical duo then would imply we are always playing music which was written out by the composer. JAM Duo are no strangers to pieces such as Pachelbel’s Canon and also have an ever increasing repertoire of film music. You could therefore define us as a Classical Duo. However, we also play a lot of music which, although notated copies exist, was probably never written out in the first instance.

This covers pretty much every contemporary or popular song from the latter half of the twentieth century up to current day.

What is a Classical Crossover?

This is a term we have seen bandied about the internet. The implication seems to refer to a group who play a range of music from Classical to contemporary. Classical Crossover combines classical elements (vocal techniques for an operatic sound, lush orchestration, or various classical repertoire) with other popular music styles. Although it has only recently become a recognized genre in its own right, classical crossover is actually a long tradition.

Within the classical recording industry, the term “crossover” is applied particularly to classical artists’ recordings of popular repertoire such as Broadway show tunes.

A very traditional classical piece popular at weddings

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