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Baroque Pop

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Primary Stylistic Influences:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:
"Baroque pop is to pop music what progressive rock is to rock music. It's a more complex form, likely to have more varied instrumentation and/or more ambitious song structures. Whilst the term baroque pop originated in 1960s music journalism during a fad for using a harpsichord in pop songs, the term as used by music journalists has come to mean something more ornate and complex than most pop music. In terms of modern artists, the two most often cited are the classically influenced ostentatious pop songs of Rufus Wainwright, and the complex arrangements of Sufjan Stevens' music with their non-standard time signatures, instrumentation and harmonic counterpoints."

Baroque pop is a style of music that combines pop song-writing with (often complex) classical instrumentation. Instead of synths or electric guitars, expect to hear pianos, harpsichords, arrangements with bowed strings, woodwinds, and plucked harps. This style started in the mid-60s. Even though the sub-genre is called Baroque pop, much of the instrumentation of it is more akin to the Classical period (ca. 1750 to the early 19th century), which was after the Baroque period (mid-17th century to ca. 1750). Chamber pop/rock is like Baroque pop/rock, except that the instrumentation is influenced by chamber music.

The exact origins of Baroque pop are unknown. The antecedents of adding orchestral instruments to pop arrangements date back to the earliest recordings, when jazz vocalists sung popular songs to the accompaniment of a jazz band and a small string orchestra. Burt Bacharach, Anthony Newley, Phil Spector, and Roy Orbison often made or produced classical-inspired pop songs, whilst Buddy Holly dabbled in orchestral ballads towards the end of his career. The Zombies' "She's Not There" is often cited as an early example of the sub-genre, but although the song had many harmonic qualities found in later baroque pop, it didn't use classical instrumentation. The song and group did inspire Michael Brown to form The Left Banke, whose 1966 single "Walk Away Renée" is considered the first true baroque pop single. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Moody Blues, ABBA, The Bee Gees, Procol Harum, Sparks and The Zombies themselves are among the bands from this period that absorbed the influence of the sub-genre.

Baroque pop then faded into the background as punk rock, disco, metal, electronic music, and progressive rock dominated the music scene. It slowly started to revive. Now baroque pop is more common, although its musicians are often classified under indie, alternative, folk, Americana, Britpop, or dream pop instead.

Some Baroque Pop and Chamber Pop artists are:

Alternative Title(s): Chamber Pop, Baroque Rock, Chamber Rock