Classical Music: Guide & Best Resources

classical music

Classical Music Guide & Resources: Collection of the best music, books, videos & movies. Overview of the Classical Music genre. Despite the popularity of other forms of music (EDM and others) this style of music still has its place.

Definition of Classical

Classical Music ResourceWhen it comes to music, the meaning of Classical may differ depending on which part of the world you live in, and may refer to their local music and not really the ‘Western/Christian’ classical music.

The term classical music originates from the Latin term ‘classicus’, meaning taxpayer of the highest class. Slowly after making its way through the French, German, and English languages, one of the earliest definitions of the word meant ‘classical, formall, orderlie, in due or fit ranke; also, approved, authenticall, chiefe, principall.’ Today, it is defined as “of, relating to, or being music in the educated European tradition that includes such forms as art song, chamber music, opera, and symphony as distinguished from folk or popular music or jazz.”

Periods of Classical Music

Classical Music is generally classified under various periods of music, that is marked by stylistic differences. Read more about the various eras in western classical music.

Difference Between Symphony, Concerto, Sonata

Here are the basic differences between the various styles such as Symphony, Concerto, Sonata:

  • Symphony: Extended composition usually for an orchestra and comprises several movements (usually four). It features a big group of musicians who play together on various instruments, usually including strings, woodwind, brass and percussion.
  • Concerto (plural is concerti or concertos): Usually refers to a musical work in which one or more solo instruments (focus is on this instrument) is accompanied by an orchestra
  • Sonata: Means a piece is played as opposed to sung (only one instrument played in a style similar to singing). The solo instrumentalist could be accompanied by a smaller chamber orchestra (just three or four musicians).
  • Cantata is often choral music, often accompanied by instruments. Cantatas might sound like Operas but are not as long, and minus the Stage Drama.
  • Opera are plays with orchestral music and singing. There are certain parts of Opera: Chorus; Aria, etc.

Beethoven & Mozart

Characteristics of Classical Music

The following are the characteristics of Classical Music.

  1. Trills – Alternate your fingers / notes.
  2. Arpeggios – Chord played one note at a time in quick succession.
  3. Scales – Play some section of Major / Minor scale as fill-in.
  4. Octaves – Use this music interval frequently.

You will normally use trills, arpeggios and scales while playing songs or sections of pieces that are soft and melodic. But there are many other compositions which can be loud and dramatic where you will be required to play thumping octaves.

Effective Ways to Build a Good Library

Here are some effective ways to build a good library of recordings:

  • Listen to as much classical music as you can
  • Make note of the popular pieces, type (Orchestral, chamber, Piano, Vocal, and so on) and composer
  • Learn more about the composer & his/her other recordings
  • Gradually buy what you like

Popular Classical Pieces

There are hundreds of good classical songs but some of the more popular ones are listed below. In case you want to learn classical songs, make sure you can play some of these!

  1. Mozart – Turkish March, Marriage of Figaro, Serenade
  2. Beethoven – Fur Elise, Moonlight Sonata
  3. Chopin – The entertainer, Nocturne, Funeral March
  4. Bach – Minuet in G
  5. Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture

There are many more as you can see in these videos:




Famous Classical Music Pieces

I’m sure you may heard that soft music has a positive impact on a child’s development, increases your concentration, and so on. Here you’ll find a collection of the best resources for classical music. Also watch the videos that has some beautiful music.

In case you are majoring in music or have music as a subject in school/college, this can be good reference material. Prepare for the exams/thesis using these resources. After all, time is always a scarcity, especially for students: D).

Youngsters Don’t Like Classical?

But why do most youngsters don’t take a liking for classical, or rather, why does it take so long for them to accept it?

Here are some reasons:

  1. Most listeners are not really exposed to ‘classical’ music, the only education they receive on this genre of music is in elementary school, and even there this topic is not covered in depth.
  2. Currently, the only way to get exposed to classical music is by learning to play a musical instrument for a few years, but again, not many people actually do that.
  3. Classical music is used a lot in movies, but then it’s referred to as ‘film music’, and not ‘classical music’.
  4. Beat music is comparatively easy to create and finds many takers in pubs & discos, the younger crowd loves it
  5. There are several choices available on radio stations, and most of the time classical music is not one of them.
  6. Media is usually driven by ratings, and that is another reason why classical music is not popular.

No wonder then, that the masses have no understanding whatsoever about the history of classical music, and how it works or sounds.

As of now, the only way to appreciate the beauties and wonders of classical music is by learning music yourself.

Having said that, even after hundreds of years, people still listen to classical music (Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin). and I’m sure they will do the same hundred years from now. Not sure about Rolling Stones, Bieber, and the current crop though.

Characteristics of Classical Music

The following are the characteristics of Classical Music. You would already know some of these as they are the basics of piano playing!

Classical Music

  1. Trills – Alternate your fingers / notes.
  2. Arpeggios – Chord played one note at a time in quick succession.
  3. Scales – Play some section of Major / Minor scale as fill-in.
  4. Octaves – Use this music interval frequently.

Read more here on How to play classical piano…

You will normally use trills, arpeggios and scales while playing songs or sections of pieces that are soft and melodic. But there are many other compositions which can be loud and dramatic where you will be required to play thumping octaves.

Checkout this ultimate resource on classical music…

  1. Piano Videos of great pianists, Best movies on Piano
  2. Top Piano Books for Your Library

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