Classical western music may be the complete opposite of modern Korean pop in terms of genre, but surprising a lot of groups have managed to make the two work together. Here are 8 K-Pop songs that sampled famous classical music pieces.
1. Cherry Bullet’s “Hands Up”
The last place you’d expect to hear Ludwig van Beethoven is in a dance track. And yet somehow, the “Für Elise” sample in Cherry Bullet’s “Hands Up” works perfectly with the energetic beat. The group took its image from bubbly to fierce in this comeback, which makes the classical sample even more unexpected.
2. BTS Jimin’s “Lie”
The melody from “Lie” by BTS’s Jimin is interpolated with a song called “La Vida Breve” by 19th century Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. Taken from one of the classical musician’s operas, the piece is typically played on guitar, unlike most well-known classical pieces which are played on piano.
3. GFRIEND’s “Summer Rain”
If you’ve taken piano lessons in the past, GFRIEND’s “Summer Rain” may sound familiar to you. The song combines “Dichterliebe, Op. 48:1” by Robert Schumann (a piece commonly played by piano students) with new jack swing beats and twinkling synths.
4. MOMOLAND’s “Freeze”
“Entrance of the Gladiators” by Julius Fucik has been sampled in dozens of songs by major artists like 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg. MOMOLAND joined them with “Freeze”, which interpolates the famous classical circus tune with a pop hook and bright drumbeat.
5. VIXX’s “Fantasy”
One of Ludwig van Beethoven’s most popular pieces, “Moonlight Sonata”, appears in “Fantasy” by VIXX. The group continued the classical theme by incorporating Phantom of the Opera into one of the album’s teasers.
6. SF9’s “Jungle Game”
Another dance track with classical influences is this SF9 B-side, which samples “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg. Blending electronic synths and club beats with classical music somehow works here.
7. Ladies’ Code’s “Chaconne”
With Ladies’ Code’s “Chaconne”, the clue is in the name—this song samples “Partita No. 2: Chaconne” by Johann Sebastian Bach. The violin piece is used to open this soft ballad.
8. AKMU’s “Last Goodbye”
If the beginning of “Last Goodbye” sounds familiar to you, that’s because the beginning of the song uses a very popular piano piece: “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel. It’s another you’ve likely heard before if you’ve ever taken lessons.