K-Pop, with its catchy beats and energetic performances, has taken the world by storm. But did you know that some of your favorite K-Pop songs are actually inspired by classical music? In this section, we will explore 10 K-Pop songs that have cleverly incorporated samples from classical compositions. From the fusion of traditional and modern sounds to the creative representation of timeless melodies, these songs showcase the incredible versatility and innovation within the K-Pop genre. So, get ready to be amazed as we delve into the fascinating world where classical meets contemporary in K-Pop music.
1. Cherry Bullet – Hands Up
Cherry Bullet is a South Korean girl group. The group consists of seven members and is managed by FNC Entertainment. the group debuted on January 21, 2019, with the single album “Let’s Play Cherry Bullet.” They made their comeback with the song “Hands Up” in 2020. For this song, the group sampled the melody to Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Fur Elise.
2. BTS Jimin – Lie
Jimin of BTS released a song called “Lie” in 2016, drawing inspiration from the Spanish composer of the 19th century Manuel de Falla for this solo track. The song incorporates the guitar-centric piece of “Danza Espanola n1” from the opera “La Vida Breve.” The melody can be experienced at the beginning of the song before the start of the verse.
3. GFRIEND – Summer Rain
GFRIEND was a South Korean girl group formed in 2015 by Source Music. The group has six members Sawon, Eunha, Yerin, Yuju, SinB, and Umij. They debuted with the play “Season of Glass.” For their third comeback in 2017, the group released the song “Summer Rain,” and for the song, the girls sampled the melody of Robert Shumann’s “Dichteriliebe, op.48:1” (poet love in German). It’s a great song especially, for piano lovers.
4. Shinhwa – T.O.P
Shinhwa is a South Korean boy band with six members. They debuted in 1998 by SM Entertainment. The group signed another agency Good Entertainment in 2004. Later they created their Shinhwa company to manage their careers. The group sampled music from classical music composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for their T.O.P. in 1999. The songs begin with Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake Op.20,” or “Lake in the Midnight.
5. AKMU – Last Goodbye
AKMU, or Akdong Musician, is a South Korean duo of siblings, Lee Chan-Hyuk and Lee Su-Hyun. They debuted in 2014 under YG Entertainment with the studio album “Play.” Their 2017 comeback song “Last Goodbye” started with a sampling of Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” and appeared in the song some places.
6. Red Velvet – Feel My Rhythm
Red Velvet is a South Korean girl group that debuted on August 1, 2014, with the single “Happiness.” They are managed by SM Entertainment. Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, and Joy are the four members of the band. In 2015, Yeri, a fifth member joined the group. The group sampled Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on G String” for their song “Feel My Rhythm.” The original song is in D major, and Red Velvet’s “Feel My Rhythm” in a C sharp major key.
7. Cosmic Girls – Love O’Clock
Cosmic Girls is a South Korean girl group formed in 2016. They were formed by Starship Entertainment and Yuehua Entertainment. There are ten members in the group currently. The group debuted with the extended play Would You Like? with twelve- members. In 2016 Yeonjung joined the group as the thirteenth member. The group went on a hiatus in 2018 and after it, in 2023, three members left the group, Xuanyi, Cheng Xiao, and Meiqi. Their 2018 song “Love O Clock” was sampled from “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
8. Dreamcatcher – Good Night
Dreamcatcher were previously known as MINX. They are a South Korean girl group with seven members: JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Yoohyeon, Dami, Gahyeon, and Handong. The group debuted on January 13, 2017, with the single album “Nightmare.” The group was formed by Happyface Entertainment, and now called Dreamcatcher Company. They sampled the melody of “Suite No.7 in G minor Passacaglia” by Georg Friederich Handel.
9. BTS – Blood, Sweat, and Tears
BTS, or Bangtan Boys, is a South Korean boy band with seven members. The band was formed in 2010 and debuted in 2013 under the agency BigHit Entertainment. They debuted with the single album 2 Cool 4 Skool. For their 2016 song Blood, Sweat & Tears from the album “Wing,” the band sampled the “Mass in B minor. Kyrie Eleison (I) by Johann Sebastian Bach. In the interlude, Suga is playing “Passacaglia in D minor” by Buxtehude on the organ.
10. TVXQ – Tri-Angle
TVXQ, or Tong Vfang Xien Qi, is a South Korean male duo formed by SM Entertainment in 2003. The band began as a five-member boy band: U-Know Yunho, Max Changmin, Hero, Micky Yoochun, and Xiah Junsu. Tri-Angle is the band’s debut studio album, released in 2004. Their 2004 comeback sampled a melody from “Symphony No.4 in G-Minor” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.