Saturday, 14 May 2011

Dark and Goth-friendly music #11: Classical and cultured

Typically enough, in the hour or so of free time that I set aside to post yesterday, Blogger was down. :-/ As I am going on holiday at the end of this week AND starting work on Monday, I can't really afford to miss any posts!

The genres of music in this section of the guide are linked by a tenuous thread; I felt that together they display, to a certain extent, the love of history and culture displayed by many in the Goth scene. I hope you will agree!

Neoclassical darkwave
The more comonly-used term 'neoclassical' actually refers to neoclassicism, "a twentieth-century trend [in music], particularly current in the period between the two World Wars, in which composers sought to return to aesthetic precepts associated with the broadly defined concept of "classicism", namely order, balance, clarity, economy, and emotional restraint." (- Wikipedia). Within the dark music scenes, the word 'neoclassical' is used to refer to 'neoclassical darkwave', a subgenre of darkwave music characterised by its ethereal atmosphere and angelic vocals, predominantly female.

Neoclassical darkwave is heavily influenced by classical music, and typical instruments include pipe organs, brass instruments and synths.

Neoclassical darkwave artists include: Amber Asylum, Rising Shadows, Love Is Colder Than Death, Persephone, Life's Decay, The Changelings, Chaostar, Elend, Devil Doll, Bacio De Tosca.

Medieval music was traditionally written, as is obvious, in Europe during the Middle Ages. It is performed with instruments that existed in said era, such as the flute, recorder, pan flute, gemshorn and string instruments such as the lute, gittern, dulcimer and zither. It includes many subgenres equally popular amongst Goths such as the Gregorian chant.

Many modern musicians have adopted the musical style and instruments of this era and, often, original Medieval and/or Renaissnance songs. These include: Mediaeval Baebes, Blackmore's Night, Estampie, Dead Can Dance, Narsilion, Omnia, The Moon and the Nightspirit, Trobar De Morte, Elane, Die Irrlichter.

Celtic music can be used to describe a varied selection of music genres inspired by the musical traditions of the Celtic people. Many Goths enjoy music with a Celtic inspiration or feel; the following enjoy particular popularity amongst members of the dark alternative scenes: Loreena McKennitt, Enya, Blackmore's Night, Omnia.

Again world music is an umbrella term, covering traditional or folk music from hundreds of different cultures across the globe; a lot of Goths enjoy music from different cultures around the world. What genres and cultures precisely will of course depend on the Goth themselves: for example I am partial to Celtic folk music, African tribal, Native American chants, and even a little Bhangra.

As I'm sure you can tell, trying to guess which musicians, out of hundreds of genres and thousands of cultures, are enjoyed by a large number of Goths would border on the impossible, so I'm just going to list a few of my own favourites and leave you to draw your own conclusions (and post your own favourites in the comments section, I hope!).

My 'world' music favourites include: Sacred Spirit, Oceania (a New Zealand band combining Maori music and modern music; some Goth points for this one please, since one of the band members and the writer of the music is Jaz from Killing Joke), Deep Forest, Irfan, Daemonia Nymphe.

Classical music hardly needs to be described; for the sake of argument, I shall merely note that it often exhibits artistic complexity, and whilst most styles of music are in song form, classical music can also take the shape of a sonata, concerto, symphony, opera, suite and more. The instruments used in most, but not all, classical music were invented usually much earlier than the 19th century.

Many Goths enjoy classical music in some form; popular composers include: Bach, Wagner, Bartok, Beethoven, Moussorgsky, Rachmanninov, Schubert, Stravinski, Verdi, Shostakovich.


chaoskitten[DF] said...

Nox Arcana and Midnight Syndicate are wonderful bands to add to this post. :)

Delighted to see some Celtic as I'm a celtic mythology nerd :)

Ashlee said...

I did a paper on Mongolia and I actually quite liked the music.

My favorite classical musician is most def. David Garret. I don't think I have a favorite composer yet.

ultimategothguide said...

Ooh, I love Midnight Syndicate! <3

Claire said...

Yay! These are some of my favorite genres. I've especially been listening to more classical music lately.

LovleAnjel said...

Oh GOOD I'd have been upset if you had skipped Mussorgsky (go get "Pictures at an Exhibition" now if you haven't heard it). You forgot Camille Saint-Saens' - "Danse Macabre".

Fallen Angel said...

Wow! I'll have to try and listen to some of these groups. Where would you classify groups like Within Temptation, Epica, and Nightwish? My friends and I in the U.S. classify them as Goth Metal.

Anonymous said...

It was good to see this post. Classical was literally what I grew up on (that and classic rock) and then I discovered celtic music...
So, obviously, I squeed.
@Fallen Angel: I've seen them classified as that as well, but I also know that there's a huge debate about it. Within Temptation also really seems close to Lacuna Coil, and that was an inspiration for Evanescence, but putting them as goth metal is a whole different can of worms.
I hope someone with more music knowledge will be able to sort this out a bit.

Qwack said...

I myself am more of a tradgoth type myself, but I love Blackmore's Night! :D

Unlacing the Victorians said...

I know they don't exactly qualify as a tribal goth band per se, but Abney Park's latest album is heavily tribal. And a great deal of their other music in the past has had heavy tribal influences as well.

undderb said...

Cool list now I've got a few bands to listen to lol. I think you could add In Extremo since they are folk or medieval metal.

BallerinaDark said...

I love classical and celtic music ^_^ also recently I'm very into "alternative" music (trip-hop or indie) like Massive Attack, Royksopp and BatForLashes ♥

Anonymous said...

ooh, just want to add to the list. Azam Ali's album "Portals of Grace" has full superb medieval music in it.
And for another dark tribal artist, try Vas. It's world music, Indian and tell the dark side of pagans.

Hellcat said...

I love these subgenres especially Neoclassical and Neoclassical Darkwave.

Trobar De Morte, Amber Asylum and Persephone are my favorites of these artists.

Elektra said...

Yaaay Opera! I've been a huge opera fan ever since my mom (a German, go figure) took me to my first opera when I was a kid. Neoclassical darkwave is also a favorite :)

Anonymous said...

World Music here should include Natasha Atlas and her previous band Transglobal Underground,.who's sultry voice you will easily fall in love with.

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