Crossover (music)

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In music crossover is a term used to describe artists of a certain style or genre whose popularity crosses the considered boundaries of where the music of that style or genre is normally found. "Crossing over" is a marketing term, and is always a movement toward the mainstream.

For example, in the early years of rock and roll, many songs originally recorded by African-American musicians were rerecorded by white artists (such as Pat Boone) in a more toned-down style (and often with changed lyrics) that lacked the hard edge of the original versions. These covers were considered by some to be more palatable to white parents, and white artists were thought to be more palatable to programmers at white radio stations. Songs by the original artists which where then successful are called crossovers as they "crossed over" from a black to a white audience.

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Crossover as appreciation of music not normally listened to

One way of defining crossover, is that it occurs when a work from one genre of music becomes popular among listeners who ordinarily listen to other, more popular genres. For example, particular works of classical music sometimes become popular among individuals who mostly listen to popular music. Some classical works that achieved crossover status in the twentieth century include the Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel, the Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Górecki, and the second movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 457 (from its appearance in a 1967 film entitled Elvira Madigan).

Often crossover results from the appearance of the music in question in a film score. For instance, Sacred Harp music experienced a spurt of crossover popularity as a result of its appearance in the 2003 film Cold Mountain, and folk music experienced a mini-revival due to the reception of 2000's O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Even atonal music, which tends to be less popular among classical enthusiasts, has a kind of crossover niche, since (as Charles Rosen has noted) it is widely used in film and television scores "to depict an approaching menace".

Crossover is highly prized by executives of the music industry, since the profits of a recording that achieves crossover status can be high.

Crossover as music of mixed genres

In popular music, the term crossover is most commonly used to describe a style of heavy metal that became popular in the 1980's. Bands who appreciated the fast hardcore punk stylings of bands like Minor Threat and Negative Approach, and equally appreciated the fast heavy metal stylings of Slayer and Metallica began combining elements of both styles for an even faster music style that became known as crossover. The first notable band of this style was New York City's Stormtroopers Of Death. The two hotbeds of the style were located in New York City and Southern California, home to Suicidal Tendencies. Suicidal Tendencies, led by "Cyco" Mike Muir were an extremely fast, thrashy hardcore band on their first self titled album, but by their next effort, "Join The Army" they had become a full on speed metal band. Other notable bands of the era were the Crumbsuckers, Hirax, Leeway, Cryptic Slaughter, The Cro-Mags, Method Of Destruction, and probably the most famous of all, Texas' Dirty Rotten Imbeciles or DRI.

Crossover can also refer to another very popular style that showed up in the early 1990's, when bands would mix together a multitude of pop styles such as funk, hip hop, punk rock, and some heavy metal. This style was initially referred to as funk metal. Some well-known crossover artists are the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Rage Against The Machine.

However, crossover as mixing of genres in one piece has a longer tradition than that: see e.g. Deep Purple's Concerto for Group and Orchestra, where the pop music of that time is crossing the border with classical music. Around the 1970s several pop music artists produced such classical/pop crossover music, e.g. also Frank Zappa who composed pieces for execution by a classical orchestra.

This is also called fusion, especially jazz fusion which mixes jazz with other styles.

Top artists and albums

  • Art Of Noise - The Seduction of Claude Debussy
  • Ariaphonics - Ariaphonics
  • Paul Schwartz -Aria 1
  • Charlotte Church - Enchantment
  • Emma Shapplin - Etterna
  • Josh Groban - Closer
  • Bond - Born
  • Sarah Brightman - La Luna
  • Andrea Bocelli - Cieli di Toscana
  • Amici Forever - The Opera Band

de: Crossover (Musik)

See also

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