Neoclassical is a subgenre of Dark Wave music that emerged in the early to mid-1980s in the UK. It is characterized by a classical approach based on acoustic instrumentation and electronic sound simulation, often generated by synthesizers and samplers.
In the early 1980s, numerous Post-Punk bands showed an interest in art music and classical music but couldn't achieve the necessary technical proficiency. At the time, Venomettes members Viginia Hewes, Anne Stephenson, and Martin McCarrick − who graduated from Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama − became influential figures of the British Post-Punk and New Wave scene and started working with a variety of seminal artists, including The Cure, The Glove, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Anne Clark, Marc Almond, This Mortal Coil, Virginia Astley, Peter Murphy, Sex Gang Children, Virgin Prunes, and Skin. The inclusion of traditional music instruments, especially chordophones such as violin, cello, and piano, became a standard for many 1980s Dark Wave productions.
Shortly afterwards, UK-based post-punk acts Dead Can Dance and In the Nursery abandoned conventional rock structures in favour of instrumentation, sound simulation, and compositional techniques associated with classical music and film scores, and produced a range of essential full-length works.