Ok, first let’s get one thing straight. Classical Music is NOT Classical Music.
Well, on the face of it this statement makes no sense, right? Isn’t it a bit like saying an egg is not an egg, or a house is not a house? Well, bear with me and I’ll explain why Classical Music is not Classical Music.
What the words Classical Music mean to you will largely depend on how much you’ve been exposed to it, and where your musical roots are.
The chances are that if you are someone who was brought up on a diet of pop, or rock, your idea of Classical Music is basically anything that uses certain types of instruments — loads of violins and cello, perhaps a big brass section, some woodwind and percussion. Oh, and maybe some singers too, but not using microphones.
What we are actually describing here is not a genre or style, but simply the instrumentation that plays the music. Over time, music that uses this sort of instrumentation has been labelled — somewhat lazily — with the catch-all tag of 'Classical Music'.
But would it surprise you to know that, in actual fact, and if we are being strictly accurate, the term Classical Music refers to a period in musical history. Musicologists and music historians have come up with a handful of these time periods — known as 'eras' — to make the job of cataloguing and discussing over ten centuries of music just a little bit easier.
Here are the six main eras: