Whether instrumental or vocal, such as opera, classical music houses one of the broadest genres and the oldest genres of music. It begins with ancient music written and performed before 500 AD. Musicians continue to write new classical music pieces today.
Classical music divides its genre by time periods, first and foremost. It also divides them by sub-genre, such as chamber music and opera.
Catholic monks developed musical notion to record on paper the worship music they created. Religious music comprises the largest body of early classical music. Throughout its history, the religious community has used it to stir religious fervor. This continues in the composition of contemporary pieces like “For the Beauty of the Earth.”
The effects of Classical Music
Since its Baroque period, classical music has also influenced architecture and art. Its Romantic, modern, impressionistic, and contemporary phases did, as well. Although other periods may have also influenced art and architecture, these were key.
Classical music has had a lasting effect on music and its influence to some extent seeps into every other genre, if by no other means than it gave birth to the ability of musicians being able to write down their compositions. It also gave birth to virtually every song form.
Its greatest composers were the first artists to be known by their last name only. Who hasn’t heard at least one of the names: Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Hadyn, Handel, Liszt, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, or Vivaldi. Its later composers and performers also attained lasting fame. Some, like jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, combined traditional music like European folk and classical. He attained fame for his jazz performances after he re-learned to play with a partial hand, but began as a classical performer. He lost a portion of multiple fingers in a fire and the remaining portions of two fingers remained paralyzed. A more recent example, Yanni, combines classical music with New Age stylings.
Characteristics of Classical music
Classical music eschews improvisation and added ornamentation. Its precise notation with specific directives regarding vocal or instrument loudness, i.e. forte, pianissimo, in addition to pitch and sound growth, i.e. crescendo or decrescendo, differentiate it from other forms of music.
Rather than using the strophic form, it developed numerous instrumental forms including concerto, fugue, sonata, and symphony. It also features forms that mix instrumental and vocal lines, such as cantata, mass, and opera.
The genre of classical provides a mass appeal because of its many sub-genres. It contains something for almost everyone. Its history reaches back to ancient times and its emerging artists continue creating today.