How Metal and Classical Music Collide

How Metal and Classical Music Collide is a blog that looks at the ways in which metal and classical music intersect.

The Relationship Between Metal and Classical Music

Though they are two completely different genres of music, metal and classical music have always had a close relationship. This is because metal is often inspired by classical music, and vice versa. In fact, many metalheads are also classical music fans. This section will explore the relationship between these two genres of music.

The History of Metal

Metal music is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With roots in Blues Rock and Psychedelic Rock, the bands that created Metal developed a thick, heavy sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion and extended guitar solos. Metal songs often make use of fast-paced percussion, as well as highly stressed vocal styles. In 1970, Black Sabbath released the song “Paranoid”, which is often cited as one of the first Heavy Metal songs.

In the 1980s, Metal music became increasingly popular with the release of albums such as Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” and “Master of Puppets”, Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast”, Slayer’s “Reign in Blood”, and Megadeth’s “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?”. The 1990s saw a continued rise in popularity for Metal music, with bands such as Pantera, Sepultura, and Lamb of God becoming popular within the genre.

Today, Metal music is enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and continues to be one of the most popular genres of rock music.

The History of Classical Music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

The Similarities Between Metal and Classical Music

Despite their apparent differences, metal and classical music actually have a lot in common. Both genres are complex and often require extensive training to execute properly. They also share a common goal: to create an emotional response in the listener.

Of course, there are some key differences between the two genres. Classical music is typically more restrained and formal, while metal is known for its aggressive energy and intense dynamics. But at their core, both styles of music strive to move the soul and create a deep connection with the listener.

How Metal and Classical Music Collide

Metal and classical music are two genres that are often seen as being diametrically opposed to one another. However, there are a number of ways in which these two genres can actually complement each other quite well. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the ways in which metal and classical music can collide.

The Orchestration of Metal

Orchestration is the process of score writing for an ensemble of musicians. In metal, it is not at all uncommon to hear grandiose and heavily layered compositions with a multitude of moving parts. This is in contrast to the traditional “rock band” set up of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Metalheads often cite classical music as an influence, and there are certainly some similarities between the two genres. However, there are also some key ways in which they differ.

Classical music is typically based on Western art music traditions dating back to the Renaissance. These traditions were further codified in the 18th and 19th centuries by composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. The focus in classical music is on melody, harmony, and counterpoint. Formal structures such as sonata form are also often used. Metal, on the other hand, developed out of the hard rock and blues scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Early innovators such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin took these existing musical traditions and blended them with a heavier sound to create a new genre. While melody and harmony are still important in metal, the focus is often more on rhythm and riffing. Formal structures such as verse-chorus form are more common.

One of the most striking ways in which metal differs from classical music is in its use of dynamics. Classical music tends to be very dynamically varied, with loud sections (fortissimo) alternating with soft sections (piano). Metal, on the other hand, often relies on a consistent level of volume (forte) throughout a piece. This can create a sense of intensity that is unique to metal.

Another key difference between metal and classical music is in their respective audiences. Classical music tends to be seen as elitist and inaccessible by many people, whereas metal has always had a more working-class image. This is reflected in both the lyrical themes of each genre and the way that they are performed live. Classical concerts are usually formal affairs where everyone sits quietly and pays attention to the music. Metal shows are often rowdy affairs where fans headbang or mosh along with the band

The Influence of Classical Music on Metal

Since the early days of metal, classical music has been a big influence on the genre. Many metal bands have incorporated classical elements into their music, and some have even gone so far as to cover classical pieces.

Classical music has had a profound effect on metal, shaping its sound and inspiring its musicians. Here are just a few examples of how classical music has influenced metal:

-The sound of metal is often inspired by the grandiose sound of classical music. Metal bands often use grandiose instrumentation, such as multiple guitars and keyboards, to create a symphonic sound.

-Many metal songs are based on classical compositions. For example, Metallica’s “The Call of Ktulu” is based on Bolshevik composer Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain.”

-Manymetal musicians are classically trained. For example, Metallica’s James Hetfield studied piano as a child, and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci is a self-taught guitarist who started out playing classical guitar.

-Manymetal songs feature virtuosic performances inspired by classical music. Metal musicians often try to outdo each other with ever-more complex instrumental solos.

-Somemetal bands have even gone so far as to cover classical pieces. Dream Theater famously covered Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine,” which is based on Gustav Holst’s “The Planets Suite.”

The Influence of Metal on Classical Music

Since its inception in the late 1960s, metal has been one of the most popular genres of music. It has undergone many changes and evolutions over the years, but it has always retained its core elements of loud, distorted guitars and pounding drums. These days, metal is as popular as ever, with new bands emerging all the time and old bands still going strong.

Interestingly, metal has had a significant influence on classical music. This is perhaps surprising, given that the two genres seem to be polar opposites. However, many classical composers have been inspired by metal, and have even incorporated metal elements into their work. Here are some examples of how metal and classical music have collided.


In conclusion, it is evident that metal and classical music do have some similarities, despite their obvious differences. Both genres are complex and require a great deal of skill to execute properly. They also share a common history, dating back to the early 19th century. However, the two genres have developed in very different ways over the years, resulting in very different sounds. Metal is characterized by its aggressive, distorted guitars and pounding drums, while classical music is known for its intricate melodies and subtle dynamics.

Similar Posts