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What is Classical Music? (a broad look)

So to kick off our journey into the different genres, let’s talk about them in a broad sense first, starting with Classical.

Classical music often refers to the instrumentation used to perform the music. When we think about it in this way, choirs, string ensembles, wind chamber ensembles, pianos, orchestras, brass and percussion come to mind.

If you listen to film or game music, it sounds very cinematic and classical in style. This is due to a broad feeling given by sweeping strings, flute and piccolo runs and story telling through the music.

A clear example of how different instruments can mimic parts of the story is Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’


Another well known piece of Classical music is “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Mozart. This is a lighthearted string ensemble serenade, translating to ‘A little night music’.


A piano example is Beethoven’s Moolight Sonata from Piano Sonata Number 14. Beethoven was well known for pushing the boundaries of classical music and we’ll get into that more when we start to talk about subgenres later on in this series of posts.


More recently, English composer, Sir Edward Elgar famously wrote Pomp and Circumstance, the march from which closes the BBC Proms every year.


To finish our initial look into classical music, let’s take in right back to some Thomas Tallis and his 40-part choral work, ‘Spem In Alium’ or ‘Hope in any other’.

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