What is crossover music? It isn’t a new phenomenon, although many people may think it is. In fact, crossover music has been a part of melodic development for centuries. Michele McGovern is one of the best flutist musicians of our time, and she is also a major player in the latest genre of crossover classical music. Before we discuss classical crossover music further, let’s take a step back to see how the crossover phenomenon has developed all of the genres of today and will create the new sounds of the future.
Classical music was once a form of crossover music. During the Medieval period most music was performed by troubadours that would travel from town to town singing ballads to earn a living. The other most popular form of music was Gregorian chants, which were one written line of tone with no variation. The two genres were very different from each other, but a crossover began to occur that created the early versions of harmony. The Renaissance and Baroque periods experienced additional blending of folk acapella songs and more complicated use of instruments. It was in the Classical period that the transformation was complete.
The same scenario has occurred over and over again as genres combine and blur the lines to create a crossover music compilation. There are several good examples from the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Country, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop, and many more. The latest example would be classical crossover music that incorporates the traditional classical sound with other genres, such as Rock, Hip-Hop, and more. Michele McGovern is playing a major role in this new transition with her popular YouTube and Vimeo videos combined with her exceptional abilities as a flutist. This blending of musical styles can also be attributed to the merging of cultures.
The U.S.A. is a perfect example of how cultures and music combine to create crossover music. In the U.S. you have people from all cultures that came to the country with their own melodies, songs, instruments, and sounds. The mixing of these different types of ballads, folk songs, and tribal music created the genres that we all listen to today. For instance, folk songs and tribal music combined into the crossover music style of Blues. These sounds then evolved into country and rock.
Today, crossover music can be found expanding into every genre. Hip-Hop songs will borrow guitar riffs from rock songs, while classical crossover music, like the arrangements played by Michele McGovern, incorporate rock, jazz, hip-hop and more so that a modern and popular spin is evoked into original songs and classic works by major composers.
An example of this type of crossover music is illustrated in the arrangement of Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven that Michele McGovern and the late Melody Lord worked on together. This arrangement modernizes one of the most famous sonatas to date. Ms. McGovern took the classical crossover a step further with an award-winning video entitled Moonlight, which showcases the Moonlight Sonata arrangement with an exceptional story played out through the music. We can only imagine what new genres await us in the future.