2 Definitions of Classical Music

Have you ever wondered what it is that people are referring to when they talk about classical music? Do they mean all instrumental music? Music created during a particular time period? All music created before a particular time period? As it turns out, the answer might depend on who is using the phrase. There are at least two commonly used definitions of classical music. Limited Definition Strictly speaking, the definition of classical music is chamber music, choral pieces, opera, and music that is meant to be played by a full orchestra. To fit the definition, these pieces should have been produced by Western composers between the years of 1750 and 1820-a 70 year time span that is known as the Classical Period. Composers that fall within this definition include Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn. Pieces of music that you might recognize from the classical time period include Beethoven’s sixth symphony, a portion of which was used in the Disney movie Fantasia, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute, a portion of which was the inspiration for the Canadian National Anthem. Broad Definition...

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The Lasting Impact of Classical Music

Music is an art form that’s constantly evolving, and new artists create their pieces by taking what came before and expanding it, removing from it, or simply changing parts of it in order to make it into something new. That means that today’s musicians, whether they realize it or not, are creating music and giving performances that are influenced in some ways by music from the classical period. Schubert and the Song Cycle The rock band Pink Floyd is perhaps most widely known for their concept album The Wall. The album consists of more than an hour’s worth of songs that are related to each other and tell a story when taken together-otherwise known as a rock opera. The album has its own place in musical history, but without Austrian composer Franz Schubert, it might not exist at all. It was Schubert, in the 1820s, that established the genre of the song cycle. The song cycle was the 1800s version of a rock opera, and Schubert was the master of it. Two of his most important works, Winterreise and...

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2 Famous Classical Composers with Interesting Lives

Just like modern day rock stars, the creators of lasting and famous pieces of classical music often led interesting lives. Take a look at some of the most famous classical composers and the interesting facts about their lives. Wolfgang Mozart With a name like Wolfgang, is it surprising that the famous composer stood out from an early age? Wolfgang Mozart was a child prodigy who was already composing short musical pieces by the age of 5. His father was also a composer, but eventually abandoned his career in order to help advance the career of his more talented son. The family would spend a lot of time traveling during Mozart’s youth, going to visit nobility and prominent musicians, including Bach. His youth was the equivalent of a modern day child star with a parent as an agent. During this time, Mozart created at least 3 operas and other solo works. By all accounts, the adult Mozart was quite likely the greatest pianist ever to live. He was most certainly one of the greatest composers, perhaps the greatest. Interestingly, his...

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How to Appreciate Classical Music: A Guide

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What is Classical Music?

Technical, Classical music is music that was produced during the time period known as the Classical Period. But Baroque and Romantic Period music is commonly referred to as Classical music.
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The Influence of Classical Music

Classical music didn't really die off, but simply evolved. Modern era music still displays influences that can be traced back to the artists of the classical era.
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Famous Classical Composers

Mozart and Beethoven were two of the greatest musicians of their time, or any time. Both men led interesting lives and had a profound effect on the music world.