Baroque Beatles

Following up on Jeff’s account of the proliferation of Beatles adaptations that are not just covers, but reimaginings under different period/orchestration principals, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a peculiar (or inevitable?) series of Beatles pieces done in some sort of “baroque” style, as opposed to reworkings via, say, Beethoven, Wagner, Stravinsky. These range from what are essentially just arrangements to, for example, Joshua Rifkin’s album including a “cantata.” Some selections included below. These examples raise the question not just of why some works seem to produce many adaptations but why these re-reversions seem to follow a particular style.

One thought on “Baroque Beatles

  1. Thank you Professor! I enjoyed these covers of the Beatles’ songs. I am thinking about why this Baroque-like style has been used particularly with Beatles songs. Firstly, Beatles songs are some of the most well-known songs in the world- the other day I heard Ob La Di Ob La Da being played in a Subway station on a steel drum, for example. I think this is also why we can have an entire film story-line created out of lyrics and names from recognizable Beatles songs. The extreme popularity of the Beatles would automatically make their songs susceptible to creative re-makes. Regarding the songs above, I think that because the Beatles are seen as an influential Pop and Rock band primarily, it’s fun to hear familiar tunes placed in a completely different genre, one from a different time period altogether. Some of these remakes above remind me of a Renaissance Faire, which is fantastic. Many of their tunes seem to work incredibly well with the flute (which is used primarily in the last video on this list). Beatles songs are also easy to adapt because of their relatively simple melodies. Why Baroque Beatles? Alliteration also might have a hand in the popularity of this style!

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