Classical music, the symphonies and full orchestra pieces introduced to the Western world before the 20th century, is agreed to be the foundation of much of our music today.
Known for its complexity, artistic value, and range of instruments, classical music has a staying power and permanence in society that no other type of music has seen. Some of the pieces, such as those of Bach, are well over 300 years old and yet still widely performed.
Classical music has spread to every genre and media. Used today in commercials, movies, cartoons, and even as a mental aide and type of therapy, classical music is deeply ingrained in our society. Who can forget Beethoven's sixth symphony which was used in Disney's Fantasia, or Handel's Messiah, so widely heard at Christmas time? Selections from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons are used in traditional American weddings and even Schroeder (from Charlie Brown's gang) brought us an appreciation for Beethoven with his piano solos. Our culture would not be the same without classical music.
The progression of music throughout the years owes much of its success to classical music. Some well known bands and singers who have incorporated classical music into their style include Scott Joplin, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Alicia Keyes, Tenacious D, Bob Dylan, and My Chemical Romance. Songwriters, such as Paul Simon, have used the twelve tone technique of classical music as part of their distinct and memorable style.
Classical Music Performers of Today:
A newfound love and interest in the opera and symphony has been noticed by the increased sales of classical CDs as well as a marked rise in opera attendees. Those seeking culture are enjoying the works of Bach as performed by Angela Hewitt and the rich career of Placido Domingo. Other noteworthy performers of classical music include Yo-Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, and the dramatic operatic voice of Deborah Voigt.
Use the links provided below to learn more about the history of classical music and to find the latest updates on current performers.
The Internet Public Library: Music History, The Classical Period
Classical Music Today: News in the World of Classical Music
Classics Today: Online Guide to Classical Music
An Outline of Classical Music History
The Classical Music Pages Website: Everything Regarding Classical Music. Musical forms, terminology, history, photos.
Classical Influence in Rock Music: Video
Classic Net: Classical Music News and Information
Classical Music Blogger: An interesting and informative blog
Articles Discussing Classical Music:
The Relationship Between Classical and Contemporary Music
Is Classical Music Dead? Helium Article and Poll
Mozart's Influence on Rock and Roll Music
Classical Influences in Modern Music Genres: A forum discussion
Symphonies All Classical Music Lovers Should Own
NPR's List: Top 50 Classical Music CDs
Classical Archives: The Largest Classical Music Site on the Internet
Classical Music Composers and Reviews: Downloadable Music and Midi Files
Songza: Listen to Classical Music Free
Online Radio: The Classical Station
Johann Sebastian Bach
Ludwig Van Beethoven
George Frideric Handel
Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky