Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/songwriting


Hello Ms. Redfarn

I am a classically trained vocalist (tenor) and I look for some sources for songwriting in classical crossover style. I know some  rules and ideas about songwriting in general but I wonder is there anything special about classical crossover that makes it different from pop music particularly the forms that are better to be used or something about the melody or words that are more coherent with this genre of music?

I appreciate your great blog and information you convey and eagerly waiting for your precious advices..
Alireza Iran

Alireza, salaam - chetur id?  Thank you for being patient - I'm in the throes of the exam term.

I'm guessing that you want to fuse Western classical and Iranian music?  Or do you mean taking a pop song and rearranging it so as it sounds operatic/classical?  Maybe I've misunderstood the genre, but I thought the whole point of crossover is to change the style of performance eg a Beatles number originally written for untrained voices and a standard band line-up of three guitars (lead, rhythm, bass) and drums, reorchestrated for classically trained singer plus choir and full orchestra.  You could also give it a Latin American feel by altering the rhythm slightly and adding a Mariachi line-up, come to that - the actual composition remains the same.

Or maybe I'm missing the point - ask other experts what they think.

Omidvaram ke komak kardam.

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Clare Redfarn


All aspects of the academic/theoretical side of music, including harmony, counterpoint, elementary composition, history, harmonic analysis, aural training, sightreading - the lot! Please note I'm not primarily a composer so I can't help with composition beyond what's required for Grade 8 theory or A'level. And don't ask me about psychoacoustics or music psychology as I have no knowledge of, nor interest in, either subject.


57 years as pianist (soloist and accompanist); 42 years as harpsichordist (soloist and continuist); 10 years as violinist and 6 years as bassoonist (youth orchestras/chamber groups); 45 years as piano teacher, coach in performance/interpretation (all ages, instruments and levels) and private tutor (mainly the old O'level, Grade VI+ ABRSM theory/practical musicianship, A'level and undergraduates); 20 years as ballet pianist (Cecchetti syllabus).

Member of Musicians' Union in Britain 1978-1989 and 1991-2009.

I've been writing professionally since I was 20 - too many programme notes to count over the years and a number of articles. Additionally, from 1996-2000 I was a Music Assessor for London Arts and as such regularly wrote critiques of concerts given by recipients of Arts Council funding.

MA in European Cultural Policy & Administration (Warwick University, 1994)
B Mus with Honours (London University, 1977)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Administration (City University, 1982)
Licentiate of Royal Academy of Music in Piano Teaching (1976)
Licentiate of Royal Academy of Music in Harpsichord Teaching (1978)

Studied RAM Junior School (1966-74), then as full-time student (1974-78).

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