Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Call it Quodlibet or Mashup, It’s Still Classic(al)


A quodlibet is a piece of music that features a combination of melodies, for example, popular tunes.  They are typically combined in a surprising way that makes them funny (especially if you know the typically non-funny intent of the original tunes).

A mashup combines two or more pieces of music, sometimes superimposing the vocal track of one song over the instrumental track of another.

Either may consist entirely of other people’s music.  The art is in the blending.

Grant Woolard has combined 57 classical themes by 33 composers in this clever YouTube video.  The graphics are as entertaining as the music.


3 thoughts on “Call it Quodlibet or Mashup, It’s Still Classic(al)

  1. Good gosh! This is truly remarkable. He must have written a little program to find quickly all the themes that fit X, Y and Z harmonic patterns. This in part “proves” that within the confines of tonal, common-practice music, there are a limited number of possible harmonic/metric/melodic patterns; especially if you stick to the main, stable thematic (tuneful) parts of pieces. There are amazingly few little spots where a given tune doesn’t quite work with the harmonic givens- wow! Is the whole Choir on your distribution list? I’d love to get it to them.


    The quodlibet as a device goes way, way back, as you know- long before the Bach family enjoyed improvising them after dinner (and long before the Goldbergs).


    • Do I detect a Schenkerian analysis reference? 🙂

      I especially remember the Quodlibet on the album Peter Schickele Presents an Evening with P.D.Q. Bach. I’m sure I could identify more themes now than I could in 1978 (still have the LP).

      The choir can always see links to the most recent posts on the choir website/blog. I can send blog posts only to those folks who tell me they want to receive them. They are welcome to subscribe, follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or just stop in whenever they like.


  2. The whimsical Grant Woolard. What a hoot! What a find! I watched several of his videos . . . what fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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