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Rock Music on Classical Instruments? Answered

For our spring orchestra concert at my school, I convinced my teacher to pick an arrangement of 21 Guns by Green Day as one of our pieces. Why pick 21 Guns over Don't Stop Believing? Because I like it better. THAT's why :P

So...I was wondering. Has anyone else played an EPIC rock/punk/alternative or just something totally UN-CLASSICAL on a classical insturment? Perhaps something as awesome as a Green Day song?

I play violin btw xD



6 years ago

i have played this thing called 80s flash back, in it was awsome, also look here for what i think is cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IliwQImJrYE

Jethro Tull. Moody Blues. The Who. Led Zeppelin. Metallica. Even The Beatles (though I would never describe them as "epic rock"). Plenty of real bands have incorporated both classical instruments and even full symphonic orchestration into their repertoire.

All you need to do is some research. Start with "Rock orchestra" or "Rock symphony" and go from there.

.  +1
.  The Progressive Rock genre is another good starting point. Lots of ProgRock groups used "classical instruments" and many also wrote classical music (eg, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer).

Ah yes, the Seventies -  I remember them well  (apart from the hazy bits #;¬)
No supergroup tour was complete without its fleet of pantechnicons and a full orchestra following them around.  The first gig I ever went to was Emerson Lake and Palmer in '72.  Then there was Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Deep Purple . . .  All made extensive use of classical instruments.
(I didn't see Led Zep until several years later in '79 at Knebworth.)

hey hey, don't forget The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and the Mannheim Steamrollers !

I was trying to avoid the overtly "pure orchestral" groups, and choose some which were not typically so (okay, except for Jethro) but still may forays.

There is always my personal favourite: Apocolyptica Youtube link

There is also an AWESOME violinist from Israel. She's mainly a Hip Hop girl (I found out about her after listening to Subliminal an Israeli rap group...HEY I have a VERY eclectic taste in music)
You tube link
ANOTHER youtubelink

Yes, well IIRC, although it wasn't all the time, ELP would tour with the (London? New York? Philadelphia? ) symphony orchestra :-)

I acn play Poker Face by Lady Gaga on classical guitar. I can play smoke on the water, stiarway to heaven by great white, and highway song by blackfoot all on classical guitar. Oh! BTW the beat;les song "Eleanor Rigby" has violin in it. :)

Awesome! And by classical guitar do you mean acoustic? I've always wanted to learn...

Cool! Mine looks almost exactly like the one in the picture, but it's just one problem: mine is not shiny!!!

Hmmm, I never saw one that wasn't coated in shellac to prevent warping from moisture (or maybe it is just for looks, since they don't coat the inside...)

Yes, but I've always called it classical. It is awesome to learn. Once you get better at it, you learn more songs faster.

Kashmir by Led Zeppelin is almost all orchestra. It's one of the top five greatest songs ever, IMO.

Can't let this go without mentioning Melo-M:

And of course there's always Trans-Siberian Orchestra (though they're usually more of classical music on rock instruments), and a whole Wikipedia page on cello rock.


ACK! why doesn't AMERICA have a ukelele orchestra???? The things we miss...

ugh we played Don't stop believing for our band. and leme tell yah it was boring! But in band we are play cool songs like James Bond. It's really cool to play. Another song that we play isn't so much rock but I just like it 'cuz I have 3 solos in it! Anyways sounds awesome that you get to play green day or ANY popular music! I mean all we play is music we have NEVER herd of at least let's play somthing we know the tune of. I know this probly completly missed the whole question! Haha

I can see where playing most "3 chord Beetles songs could sound and get very boring really quick :-)

yeah! But I don't think playing Beetles would be that bad. They have some really nice and famous songs!

I've heard some of them "attempted" in elevators. With the singing eliminated, you have these 3 cords, dum, dum, dum, da, da, dum, dum, da.....dum, da, da da, da da da dah, da da. ugh.

Yes, in other words, music played without the singing.....and too many "songs" have little "music" attached to them, whereas an actual work of music that was made to be played without need of a voice, is much more complex :-)

Isn't that better then being "overly winded" ;-)