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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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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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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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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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The Classical Period in music lasted from 1750 to 1820, falling in between the Baroque and Romantic eras; however, the term "classical music" has become synonymous with all instrumental music composed during the middle ages. Notable composers include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and many more. Although music from this era has endured considerable bias in today's modern world, with many idiots saying it's "not cool", I see no reason at all to propagate reverse discrimination and immediately start bashing rap for "having no emotion" and stating that classical music is the only "real" music. Shit like that is only furthering the image of classical music fans as closed-minded elitist snobs who refuse to try anything else. I happen to enjoy both rap AND classical music as well as many other genres, and I can tell you that if you look beyond no-talent asswipes like Soulja Boy, rap is a very enjoyable listening experience that deserves respect like any other genre. As for having "no emotion" - listen to Mockingbird by Eminem, or Dear Mama by Tupac, and then try telling me that rap is all meaningless garbage about bitches and bling. Rap can be poetry... or it can be the meaningless shit that is played on our radio stations all day long, the crap that will be forgotten in a few years to make way for the newest fad. If you're a true fan of music, you won't be a closed-minded fucktard like the person who wrote the first definition. The classical music we hear today is still remembered and loved because it was the best of the best - do you honestly think that there weren’t no-talent idiots back then as well? There were ALWAYS people like that, but we don't hear about them because they were all executed by the king as soon he got bored of his latest fad. It's the same thing with today’s music. In a few centuries or so, assuming humans haven’t died out by then, the artists that will be remembered and studied are the Eminems and Tupacs, the Pink Floyds and the Led Zeppelins - all the greats will be remembered and studied, alongside composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. In three hundred years, no one will have heard of Soulja Shit or 50 Cent. So stop being assholes about rap, because you are only forcing a bad reputation upon the fans that actually happen to have more than half a brain.
Cool Person 1: I like classical music.
Cool Person 2: Really? Me too! I also like rap, rock, techno and country!
Cool Person 1: Yeah, me as well!
Stupid fucking retard 1: Your musical taste SUCKS ASS! I ONLY listen to classical music, because it is the only REAL music ever made!
Stupid fucking retard 2: No, you’re ALL wrong. Rock is the only REAL genre!
*The retards proceed to stand there arguing for the rest of the day.*
Cool Person 1: …right, that was annoying. Wanna go get lunch?
Cool Person 2: Sure.
*The cool people leave. Meanwhile, the retards continue to argue.*
by kittycatgirl July 10, 2008
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1. Historically, orchestral or chamber music written in northern Europe during the 1700s to 1900s, represented by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovskiy, Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern Schplenden-schlitter... I'll start again.
2. Music derived from those forms of music, represented by people like Philip Glass (and occasionally people like Paul McCartney and Billy Joel).
3. A fad with racist/elitist overtones for parents who want their kids to graduate from nursery school and go straight to college.
4. Music that, despite its apparent pretentiousness and overbearing arrangements, is actually pretty cool when no one's trying to shove it down your throat.
by Brian X May 03, 2003
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