It's weird how nowadays, classical music is considered
a genre, when for the vast majority of Western music’s history it was
simply considered music, as there was not really much else (Obviously that is in
the sense of professional music, as traditional folk music and orally
transmitted ditties always existed).
Yet, not only is classical music a genre in today’s
musical landscape, it’s not a very popular one at that.
How many people do you
know that actually blast Handel or Chopin on the daily, for their own personal
pleasure (and not to give themselves airs) ? It may be biased to use the this
metric given that the most known classical composers aren’t likely to release a
new EP anytime soon, but it’s still telling that statistically, classical music
accounted for only 1% of all album sales in the US in 2018.
Given the virtual infinity of its catalogue, both in quantity
and diversity, we can genuinely ask the question of why hip hop DJ’s and
producers so rarely use classical music for samples. It's all-the-more surprising
considering how good the final product always is when they do.