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  • Zoe Lim

Can Metal Be Played on the Piano?

a person playing rock music on the electric guitar

Heavy metal music has always been described as loud, energetic and packed with heavy distortion. Whereas, piano on the other hand, or rather, classical music is stereotypically described as calming, peaceful and something you would listen to while relaxing. The very idea of mixing heavy metal with piano may sound conflicting, but surprisingly enough, they do work well together!

Professor Adrian North at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh conducted the largest study to date on the connection between personality and musical preferences. His conclusions? Heavy metal and classical fans have more in common than you might think! The masters of metal and classical music, both spend their lives practicing and honing their skills in order to achieve their maximum talent on their respective instruments. Both genres of music also have a tendency to have dramatic theatrics in their composition and aesthetics. For example, if you listen to both Jon Lord's keyboard solo and Blackmore's guitar solo on Deep Purple's "Highway Star," both are distinctly Bach-like in harmonic progression and virtuosic arpeggio figuration.

Despite the stereotype of metal being full of shrieking sounds, the most popular and recognised metal bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden are actually known for their melodious guitar solos and riffs. Therefore, it can be easily translated on the piano and still sound pleasant to the average listener.

So if you're a big fan of classical music, you may want to give metal a chance!


Zoe is an avid fan of all kinds of music. Her primary instrument is the guitar but she is always passionately learning how to play other instruments such as the drums and keyboard. She is currently playing the bass guitar in a band and has been routinely involved in music since she was a child.

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