Forums > Queen - General Discussion > What Queen Songs did Freddie Use Classical Piano Style?

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george656 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Jul 05, 13:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What Queen Songs besides the intro to Death on Two Legs did Freddie use classical piano style?

Darling39 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Jul 05, 14:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It depends on what you consider "classical." No Queen song was ever truly classical, since no classical piece would ever have the unusual meter and rhythm, nonstandard chord progressions, and nonsquare phrasing indicative of Queen songs. Songs where the piano is used to create a "classical" mood abound.
Some examples, from "most classical" to "least classical" include: Love of My Life, Millionare Waltz, Nevermore, March of the Black Queen, and Bohemian Rhapsody (accompaniment for operetic bit). Some of those actually fall under more of a Romantic style, but I'm just trying to give you a decent list. Freddie did fewer and fewer classical sounding songs as the years went by. Procession for Queen II had Baroque influences, but of course that was Brian's guitar magic.

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Posted: 22 Jul 05, 15:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<b><font color = "crimson">ThomasQuinn wrote:

Darling39 wrote:

It depends on what you consider "classical." No Queen song was ever truly classical, since no classical piece would ever have the unusual meter and rhythm, nonstandard chord progressions, and nonsquare phrasing indicative of Queen songs.


I disagree. My arguments: George Gershwin, Igor Strawinsky, John Cage, Arnold Schönberg, Philip Glass.

All of them classical, all of them have defied the rules you so kindly set in your post.



Your argument is duely noted. However, the definition I hold for truly classical music is music written within the years 1750-1820 which concentrates on musical form with a greater emphasis on clarity with more concise melodic expression and clarity of instrumental color. Yes, I lifted that quote from a site. But yes, the composers you mentioned wrote orchestral works in a neoclassical-modernist style.
Thank you.


Farlander user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Jul 05, 15:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Usually "classical" refers to the art music of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Eras. "Classical" (with a capital C) usually refers to the Classical Era as defined in the above post.

JDL2nd user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Jul 05, 18:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen has made some songs that can be catalogued as : Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Eras. Remember : Queen was a rockband, but their music was (most of the time, especially in the seventies) written as an classical piece. The songs had classical constructions and they sounded like classical masterpieces despite of the instruments they used.

Some examples :
MOTBQ : Romantic ; lots of voices, sounds really big.
Procession : Baroque ; it has got a lot of sequences.
Love of my life : sounds romantic because the usage of the harp, the piano and the vocals.
Bohemian Rhapsody : Sounds operatic. The intro has got an close harmony. I would say this sounds Classical.
Millionaire Waltz : the name already said it. It's a waltz and this could be catalogued as classical.

This is A way you could look at the queen songs. It's really interesting. I studied ''music'' for two years and I am a musician myself. Some people might think the story above this is a little bit far-fetched, but Queen can be seen as a group that almost made an new genre in the history of music : Rock - opera



chauncey user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Jul 05, 22:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Darling39.........what exactly do you mean by "nonsquare phrasing"??


Are you ready to rock, are you ready to roll, okay let's do it! -F. Mercury
Darling39 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Jul 05, 09:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A good explanation of non-square phrasing can be found on this page, about a quarter of the way down.
http://queen.musichall.cz/index_en.php?s=sa&d=values
It's an absolutely fascinating site for those who are interested in the music theory behind Queen songs.

chauncey user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Jul 05, 11:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks Darling! I can't believe I went through four semesters of theory at University.....and missed nonsquare phrasing. That IS a very informational link, Thanks for that!


Are you ready to rock, are you ready to roll, okay let's do it! -F. Mercury
Picander user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 25 Jul 05, 06:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Don't create problems where there aren't... Classical music popularly speaking means "orchestral/instrumental old music", or better "something old it's not rock or jazz".
Anyway if you reference in rock music to a classical mood, you often refer to the tonal style. Atonal and modal music even if are still in "classical" definition i bet are not what George means.

As Darling39 said Queen music often doesn't follow rhythmic and harmonic laws of proportions typical of tonal music, not for personal choice in my opinion, but for free style... pop/rock music doesn't consider such rules imortant (and often doesn't know it!!!).
Anyway some inserts of virtuoso parts, rapid arpeggios or chord progressions often resemble the classical music and make the artist feeling cool, and better than the others... something Freddie loved much :-D
Freddie played piano often as a "vertical" accompainment... some guys here will understand... it practically means full chords and few contrappunct. Piano emerges sometime with a little solo or arpeggio and little tricks to help it sound a bit classical.
In Dead on Two Legs intro there are fast arpeggios... in Love of My Life instrumental parts some trilloes and pedal notes do the trick, millionare waltz the 3/4 (rare in pop music) rhythm. I add All Dead for fast bass part, minor tonality and, IV Vmag I candenzas.

You Take My Breath Away... is very modern classical (not tonal anyway)

Picander user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 25 Jul 05, 12:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well... i don't see anything romantic, except the lyrics of course!! ;-)
Verse cadenzas are IV I, and not cadenze perfette (V I) as mandatory in tonal music. The mood is modal, the 7th (Bb) is near always minor also in cadenzas...
It's still pop music... but for its style, to me, sounds a bit like modern choral music (even if it's always extremly vertical). A jewel anyway, I really love... Freddie's masterpiece to me.