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Baroque pop (sometimes called baroque rock) is a fusion genre that combines rock music with particular elements of classical music. It emerged in the mid 1960s as artists pursued a majestic, orchestral sound and is identifiable for its appropriation of Baroque compositional styles (contrapuntal melodies and functional harmony patterns) and dramatic or melancholic gestures. Harpsichords figure prominently, while oboes, French horns, and string quartets are also common.
|Cultural origins||1960s, United Kingdom and United States|
Although harpsichords had been deployed for a number of pop hits since the 1940s, some record producers in the 1960s increasingly placed the instrument in the foreground of their arrangements. Inspired partly by the Beatles' song "In My Life" (1965), various groups were incorporating baroque and classical instrumentation by early 1966. The term "baroque rock" was coined in promotional material for the Left Banke, who used harpsichords and violins in their arrangements and whose 1966 song "Walk Away Renée" exemplified the style.
Baroque pop's mainstream popularity faded by the 1970s, partially because punk rock, disco and hard rock took over; nonetheless, music was still produced within the genre's tradition. Philadelphia soul in the 1970s and chamber pop in the 1990s both reflected the spirit of baroque pop, while the latter incorporated much of the period's low fidelity musical aesthetic.
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