How Classical Music and Heavy Metal Can Work Together

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


How can two genres of music that seem so different possibly have anything in common? It turns out, quite a bit!

An Introduction to the Relationship Between Classical Music and Heavy Metal

Though at first glance the two genres of music may seem to be completely different, there are actually a number of similarities between classical music and heavy metal. Both styles of music have a long history, both are highly technical and complex, and both have a loyal and passionate following. In fact, many of the same compositional techniques are used in both genres.

The History of the Relationship

The relationship between classical music and heavy metal is a long and complicated one. For many, the two genres are diametrically opposed, with classical music seen as being the antithesis of everything that is aggressive and loud about metal. However, there is a more complicated history to this relationship than many people realize. In fact, there are a number of ways in which classical music has influenced the development of heavy metal, and vice versa.

It is worth noting that, while the two genres have often been seen as being at odds with one another, there are a number of ways in which they have actually been quite complimentary. For example, many early metal bands would often use classical music as an influence for their own work. This was particularly true of Black Sabbath, who were known for their use of Gregorian chants and other pieces of classical music in their songs. Similarly, Deep Purple were also known for incorporating classical influences into their work, particularly on the influential album “Machine Head.”

Of course, it is not just early metal bands who have been influenced by classical music. In more recent years, a number of metal bands have continued to explore this relationship. One notable example is Metallica, who have frequently included snippets of classical music in their songs over the years. Most famously, they used part of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” in their song “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Other examples include Dream Theater’s use of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” in their song “Metropolis – Part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper,” as well as Dragonforce’s use of Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” in their song “Through the Fire and Flames.”

At the same time, it is also worth noting that classical music has also been used by metal bands as a way to add an element of light relief or contrast to their work. For instance, Iron Maiden’s song “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” includes sections that quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem of the same name. Similarly, Megadeth’s song “Symphony of Destruction” includes a section lifted from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In both cases, these pieces of classical music provide a welcome respite from the aggression and heaviness of the rest of the songs.

So, despite what many people might think, there is actually a long and rich history between classical music and heavy metal. From early pioneers like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple to more modern practitioners like Metallica and Dream Theater, manymetal bands have taken inspiration from classical music over the years. At the same time, because it can provide an elementof light relief or contrast within a song , classicalmusic has also occasionally been used by metal bandsas well. This complex relationship between two seemingly disparate genres continues to this day , ensuringthat die-hard fans of both genres have plenty to enjoy .

The Benefits of the Relationship

Classical music and heavy metal might seem like two genres that would never go together. However, there are actually a number of benefits to enjoying both types of music.

For one, classical music can provide a much-needed break from the intensity of heavy metal. Listening to classical music can help you to relax and de-stress, which can be beneficial if you’re a fan of heavier genres.

In addition, classical music can help to improve your focus and concentration. Studies have shown that listening to classical music can increase task accuracy and productivity, which can be helpful when working on assignments or studying for exams.

Finally, enjoying both classical music and heavy metal can help to expand your musical horizons. By listening to a variety of genres, you’ll be expose yourself to new sounds and styles that you may not have experienced otherwise. This can ultimately make you a more well-rounded music fan.

How Classical Music and Heavy Metal Can Work Together

Contrary to popular belief, classical music and heavy metal can actually work together quite well. In fact, many heavy metal bands have been known to incorporate classical music into their songs. Classical music can add a touch of sophistication to heavy metal songs, and heavy metal can add a bit of edge to classical songs.

The Similarities Between the Two Genres

Though they may seem like two completely different worlds, classical music and heavy metal actually have a lot in common. For one, both genres are incredibly complex and often require a high level of musicianship to perform well. Additionally, both styles frequently make use of similar harmonic progressions and melodic themes.

Of course, there are also some major differences between the two genres. Classical music is typically much more structured and formal than heavy metal, which often includes improvisation and extended solos. Heavy metal is also generally much louder and more aggressive than classical music.

Despite their differences, classical music and heavy metal can actually complement each other quite well. Many fans of both genres enjoy listening to both classical and metal tunes, and some composers have even begun to experiment with combining the two styles. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll see a true fusion of these two seemingly disparate genres.

The Differences Between the Two Genres

Despite their stark contrasts, classical music and heavy metal have a lot in common. They both have a long history, dating back centuries, and both have undergone significant changes over time. Perhaps the most obvious difference between the two genres is their sound. Classical music is often described as calming and relaxing, while heavy metal is known for its aggressive and intense sound.

Classical music is typically performed by a symphony orchestra, which includes a wide range of instruments, from strings and woodwinds to brass and percussion. Heavy metal, on the other hand, is usually played by a rock band, with guitars, drums and vocals being the most prominent instruments.

Another key difference between classical music and heavy metal is the structure of their songs. Classical music is generally much more complex than heavy metal, with longer pieces that are often divided into distinct sections. Heavy metal songs are typically shorter and more straightforward, with aemphasis on melody and hooks.

Despite their differences, there are some similarities between classical music and heavy metal. Both genres place a strong emphasis on emotion, whether it be the serene beauty of classical music or the raw aggression of heavy metal. And both genres have produced some truly legendary artists who have inspired generations of fans.

The Potential for Collaboration Between the Two Genres

Though they may seem like polar opposites, classical music and heavy metal have more in common than you might think. Both genres are extremely complex, with a rich history and a passionate fandom. And, as recent years have shown, there is potential for collaboration between the two.

In 2012, for instance, the heavy metal band Metallica performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as part of the opening ceremonies for the city’s new symphony hall. The performance was a resounding success, with both fans of classical music and heavy metal praising the group’s skillful blend of the two genres.

More recently, in 2019, former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman collaborated with renowned violinist and YouTuber Lindsey Stirling on the track “Push”, which fused elements of both classical music and metal. The result was a complex and beautiful piece that showcased the best of both genres.

With more and more artists exploring the potential for collaboration between classical music and heavy metal, it’s clear that there is a lot of room for these two genres to grow together. Who knows what exciting new music will come from their partnership in the years to come?


As we have seen, classical music and heavy metal can work together surprisingly well. Classical music can provide a sense of sophistication and refinement to heavy metal, while heavy metal can add an element of excitement and energy to classical music.

The Importance of the Relationship

It is often said that music is the universal language. It has the ability to bring people together from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. And while there are many different genres and styles of music, there is one type that seems to have the power to transcend all barriers – classical music.

For centuries, classical music has been enjoyed by people of all ages and from all walks of life. It has been used as a form of entertainment, as a way to relax and as a tool for learning. And in recent years, it has even been shown to have positive effects on the brain.

But what about those who don’t traditionally enjoy classical music? Can they still benefit from its positive effects?

One group that may be surprised to find they enjoy classical music are heavy metal fans. While the two genres may seem like complete opposites, there are actually quite a few similarities between them. And according to some experts, these similarities may be why heavy metal fans actually tend to enjoy classical music more than they realize.

The Future of the Relationship

It would be foolish to try and claim that there is no conflict between these two genres, or that their fans don’t sometimes butt heads. But it’s important to remember that these conflicts are born out of a genuine love of music, and a desire to see it thrive. In the end, both classical and metal fans want the same thing: for the music they love to stay alive and continue to evolve.

The truth is that, despite their differences, classical and metal have a lot in common. Both genres are built on a foundation of technical mastery and creative expression. They both value passion and emotion, and both strive for excellence. If classical and metal can learn to appreciate these shared values, then there is hope for a bright future for the relationship between these two genres.

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