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1) Historically the style of art music common in Europe during the period between the middle of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. The works of Haydn and Mozart and the earlier work of Beethoven (who also played a large role in the transition from classical to romantic) are prime examples. Bach isn't classical. Tchaikovskij isn't classical. Chopin isn't classical.
2) In common language all art music made between the early 17th century to present, usually by composers with education or at least some knowledge of the art of composition. (In other words, practically all art music from the early 17th century up until now.)

There is a lot of wordprejudice/word against both of the above definitions of the term.
Classical music is exemplified by such composers as Haydn and Mozart.
by EldKatt July 08, 2003
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Nov 27 Word of the Day
A stupid person; it refers to the lack of surface area on an individual's brain. The general thought is that the more surface area (wrinkles, creases, etc.) a brain has, the smarter the person is. Conversely, a person with a smooth brain (no wrinkles) has less surface area and would therefore be stupid.
That fucking smooth brain put his shirt on backwards again...

That smooth brain is dumber than a pile of shit.
by Tip Tank May 14, 2011
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2
A genre containing brilliant, timeless works by musical geniuses such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Wagner, and a whole host of other European dudes you've probably never heard of. Absolutely brilliant music, especially considering the difficulty a person had to go through to compose before electric instruments and computers. Technically, "Classical Music" refers to the instrumental music of the 1750-1825 period, containing composers like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, but nowadays the term covers pretty much all music made with orchestras.

Also, a word used by upper class snobs used to justify their shitty intellectual tastes in music that they only listen to because they want to consider themselves to be educated and classy. Some composers of classical music, such as those of the atonal and serialist genres, deliberately make their music as out of key and musically senseless as humanly possible, and then justify it because it's "intellectual", and took a lot of intelligence and effort to create. The proponents of this form of music then go out and loudly proclaim how their musical tastes are far superior to those of the common unwashed plebeians, who dirty their ears with foul peasant music like rock, or even *scoff* "rap".

These musically educated persons then retire to their weekly top hat appreciation parties and discuss with other like minded individuals about kids these days have no respect for their elders.
I personally think that classical music can be utterly brilliant, but the classical music enthusiasts who constantly insist that they're intellectually and musically superior to everyone else just piss me off.
by zer0t November 02, 2011
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4
A truly beautiful style of music that has lasted for centuries. A style of European art music from the 17th to 18th centuries. Listen to "Winter" by Antonio Vivaldi. It's a masterpiece.

While it is a beautiful style of music, many people look down on many other genres because of it. You can't label every genre as bad just because there are some bad songs from it. I see a lot of talk about rap on this page, and many of criticisms I see come from pure ignorance. Listen to "Eye Know" by De La Soul, and you'll see that not all of it is bad.
Music snob: Classical music is the only real style of music there is.

Open-minded person: I agree that it's very beautiful, but I think you're speaking from ignorance. There's some pretty good rap music out there too if you look hard enough.

Music snob: Rap isn't real music!

Open-minded person: Smh.
by KNUP January 13, 2017
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5
Classical music is music that was (is) written to be played a specific way with specific orchestrations -- be they quartets, full orchestras, solo instruments (piano, organ, guitar), singers or any combination thereof. In its broadest sense it was written from the eras of Bach to Ligeti, but strictly speaking involves the period of Mozart, Haydn and early Beethoven. Forms include symphonies, concert overtures, concertos, operas and many others. I find it odd that when the phrase "Classical Music" is used most people never realize just how multi-faceted and encompassing the genre actually is. (A good many film composers were excellent classical composers in their own right -- B. Herrmann, S. Prokofiev, M. Rosza, J. Williams, just to name a few, and their styles of composition carried over to the screen.) The music from the film Psycho was written in the most strict classical forms, as too was North by Northwest -- their soundtracks play like symphonic tone poems. Most people would probably not realize that a good amount of music they recognize is in fact Classical Music ... composers like Franz List and Rossini quickly come to mind.

So, why do many people poo poo it? Personally, I think it's because so many don't understand or even know much about it ... and that's not meant to be insulting, just an observation. How many can name a composer for every letter of the alphabet? -- Albeniz, Brahms, Chopin, Dvorak ... etc., and then give a work by each? Wow, that's a lot, eh? -- doesn't even scratch the surface! You could listen to days (if not weeks) of music by each one, that's how much there is to explore. And then do the whole alphabet over again with different composers. And then you would be surprised as to how much of that music is incorporated into today's popular music -- and how much of yesterday's popular (folk) music was used by classical composers -- listen to Dvorak's New World Symphony as an example.

There's so much out there it's almost impossible not to like some aspect of it -- and chances are, you already do.
Classical Music that is easily liked ...

F. J. Haydn -- Trumpet Concerto in E flat major.
R. Strauss -- Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks.
I. Stravinsky -- Symphony No. 1.
M. Moszkowski -- Concerto for Piano.
A. Bruckner -- Symphony no. 4 (Romantic)
by Opiner October 29, 2006
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6
The art music of several cultures most notably European, American, Arabic, Chinese, Indian and Japanese.

The difference between popular music and classical are in there nature and composition. Classical often using intricate arrangements, professional trained singers and lush complex orchestral works.

It does not only mean European art music from the first half of the 16th century to the late 19th century, thats called ethnocentrism and should be condemned along with the notion that people stopped making classical music in the 20th century. I suggest looking up Ludovico Einaudi, his work might not be so complex as Mozart but he plays the piano like a possesed man.

I would like to note that i love classical music myself for its complexity and sheer utter beauty, but i condem most people who think its a way to be better then the common people. There are no common people there are only people who strive to be, and learn about themselves and those who fear what others think about them.

And stop bitching about RAP, i do not like the music genre myself but you can not expect someone with a brain the size of a nut to comprehend anything more complex then simple beats and a stupid excuse for poetry. If you condemn something you are just showing how close minded you really are. For example Pink Floyd and early Metallica made music that is just as beautiful and complex as a lot of classical music pieces. You do not hear how complex Metallica is because your brain can not handle the speed at which it is played.
The classical music buff pities the punk for not being able to enjoy the complex beauty of classical music, and the punk condemns the classical buff because he will never be able to feel the rush of adrenaline going through him. I laugh at both of them when i switch from the Talking Heads to Ludovico Einaudi.
by crowscream June 30, 2006
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