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Classical music and its influence on contemporary musicians

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

Classical music has a rich and storied history that spans centuries. From its origins in medieval Europe to its evolution into the complex, multi-faceted genre we know today, classical music has played a vital role in shaping the music of the modern era.


The origins of classical music can be traced back to medieval Europe, where it was primarily used in religious ceremonies and as a form of entertainment for the upper classes. During the Renaissance period, classical music began to evolve and develop its own distinct style, with composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and William Byrd making significant contributions.



As the Baroque period began, composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel introduced new forms and structures to classical music, paving the way for the development of opera and the concerto. The Classical period, which spanned from the late 18th to the early 19th century, saw composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert further refining the forms and structures of classical music.


In the 19th and 20th centuries, classical music continued to evolve and expand, with composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Igor Stravinsky pushing the boundaries of the genre and introducing new forms and styles. Throughout this time period, classical music also began to spread and gain popularity around the world, becoming a global art form.


Today, classical music remains a vital and influential genre in the world of music. Its influence can be heard in the work of contemporary composers and performers, as well as in the music of other genres such as rock, pop, and hip-hop. The intricate melodies, complex harmonies, and innovative structures of classical music continue to inspire and influence musicians and listeners alike.


Furthermore, classical music has been a major influence in the field of film scores, many film scores are written by classical composers and many of the motifs and themes are based on classical music. Also, it has been a source of inspiration for many electronic and experimental genres, the use of classical instruments and elements in electronic and experimental music has been a common feature in these genres, creating a unique blend of sounds and styles.


In a modern music school, the study of classical music is essential for students to understand the foundations of music and to develop the skills necessary to become proficient musicians. The study of classical music provides students with the opportunity to explore the rich history and diverse styles of the genre, as well as to gain an appreciation for its enduring influence on contemporary music.


"The history of music is the history of humanity." -Eduard Hanslick Studying classical music is not only important for understanding the foundations of music, but it also provides modern musicians with a wealth of knowledge and skills that can be applied to contemporary genres. For example, classical music provides a solid foundation in music theory and harmony, which can be applied to the creation of any genre. It also teaches discipline, attention to detail and how to develop one's own individual style.


Additionally, classical music provides a wide range of technical skills, such as ear training and sight-reading, which are essential for any musician. These skills are particularly useful for contemporary musicians who often need to work with sheet music or play by ear.


Classical music also provides a deep understanding of the history of music, which can be a valuable asset for contemporary musicians. By studying classical music, modern musicians can gain an appreciation for the evolution of different styles and forms, which can help them to understand the context of the music they are creating. They can also learn how to incorporate elements of classical music into their own compositions, which can add depth and complexity to their music.


Furthermore, classical music has been a major influence in the field of film scores, many film scores are written by classical composers and many of the motifs and themes are based on classical music. Also, it has been a source of inspiration for many electronic and experimental genres, the use of classical instruments and elements in electronic and experimental music has been a common feature in these genres, creating a unique blend of sounds and styles.


In conclusion, studying classical music is important for modern musicians in order to develop a deep understanding of music theory, harmony, and music history. It provides technical skills such as ear training and sight-reading, which are essential for any musician.

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