Music divinity….


The term classical music refers to a number of different, but related, genres. Without any qualification, the usual meaning of “classical music” in the English language is European classical music (an older usage describes specifically the Western art music of the Classical Music Era). It can also refer to the classical (or art) music of non-Western cultures such as Indian classical music or Chinese classical music.


The major time divisions of classical music are

The early music period, which includes

  • Medieval(476-1400)
  • Renaissance (1400-1600)

Common practice period

  • Boroque(1600- 1750)
  • Classical(1730-1820)
  • Romantic(1815-1950)

Modern and Contemporary Period

  • 20th century Classical(1900-2000)
  • Contemporary Classical(1975-current)

The dates are generations, since the periods overlapped and the categories are somewhat arbitrary.
In a Western context, classical music is generally a classification covering music composed and performed by professionally trained artists. Classical music is a written tradition. It is composed and written using music notation, and as a rule is performed faithfully to the score. Art music is a term widely used to describe classical music and other serious forms of artistic musical expression, Western or non-Western, especially referring to serious music composed after 1950.

Performance of classical music repertoire often demands a significant level of technical mastery on the part of the musician; proficiency in sight-reading and ensemble playing, thorough understanding of tonal and harmonic principles.

Some of very few 21st century classical music artists:

Anthony Gilbert (1934)

Jerry herman (1933)

Ray Reach(1948)


One response

  1. Great synopsis. Some folks divide the 20th century into pre-World War II and post-World War II. I think this is because many Europeans were so discouraged by the 2nd world war, they turned to modern compositional methods (that can yield a more chaotic end result). I think the World War II distinction is not a clear one however, because several composers kept a fairly traditional approach after World War II (Prokofiev, Britten, and Copland to name a few). Like with most categorizations of art, there are not clear lines.

    Thanks again for the post.

    American Composer Ralph Kendrick

    January 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm

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