Classical Music in Anime

We do things with classical music in the background. Aren't we cool?

Already breaking my episodic post claim, but that’s alright.

I just finished watching episode one of Hyouka, and I must say, KyoAni’s use of classical music really struck me. Let me preface this post by saying that before I started studying engineering, I was a musician for the majority of my life thus far. Classical music really is under-appreciated nowadays, but that’s why we have things called trends. We may not all enjoy what is currently considered popular, but that’s what’s being listened to in the present. As good as something may be, it will inevitably be pushed away to make room for the newer hits.

That being said, I can’t say I like the way KyoAni just threw classical music into Hyouka. The Beethoven being played on the piano is understandable since it was part of the story being told, but having Bach in the background was just completely random. Yes, classical music is stereotypically considered “tasteful” when used in cinematography in general, but I really object to it being treated as plain bgm. If you think you’re doing it a service by using it that way, let me tell you that you are not. People who truly enjoy classical music will listen to classical music, not watch an anime with classical music in the background.

That’s not to say that I don’t like hearing classical (or jazz) styled bgm though. If something has been composed for the sole purpose of being bgm, there’s no problem with it being used as such. If a scene takes place with musicians playing in the background, that’s also acceptable. It’s part of the setting and not just gratuitous classical music. Just don’t do a disservice to centuries of great music by using it in an attempt to appear classy. That’s just an insult to its legacy.

If you really need something to fill the silence, go play something like this instead.

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7 Responses to Classical Music in Anime

  1. Yamadipati says:

    I agree on you there. If classical pieces are used as an insert song, i wouldn’t mind it. But as a background music?

    Not being an elitist or a stuck up high and mighty asshole but, NO. Just, NO.
    They should have just make a random orchestra piece instead.

    I know, i know, changes will happen and music appreciation fluctuate throughout the ages… still… that’s not how you treat a classical piece. It’s like hearing Mel Carter’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me in a frat party. There’s a time and place for everything

  2. I like the change, Classic music really fits in the series, same goes with the Jazz with Apollon. Ill probably consider buying the cd;s/

    anyway Kyoani as always placed a big emphasis on music so im not suprised that Hyouka as a good soundtrack to it 🙂

    • Ice Cream (I Scream) says:

      @fabricerequin: I agree with you.
      @sumairii: I hate to break it to you but…Classical music plays a vital part, if not absolutely necessary, in keeping the mysterious, secretive mood which Hyouka tries to preserve throughout the entire series. If you can’t see something as simple as that, you don’t deserve the right to talk about anime.

  3. Someone says:

    More classical music and jazz rather than j-pop. I’m ok with this.

    • Smiley says:

      That’s understandable, but I felt it was really unnecessary to play Air in the background just to introduce LSD-hair-chan. If anything, it sounded out of place to me.

  4. TRazor says:

    An anime which totally rocked the age-old classics: Thermae Romae. That anime had shit ranging from Clair de Lune to Ride of the Valkyries to Nutcracker.

  5. Pingback: Hyouka – Episode 1 – Entangled in Curiosity | Chikorita157's Anime Blog

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