Talk:List of classical and art music traditions/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

"Classical music" discussion from User Talk:Francis Schonken (October 2004)

Hi FS, thanks for your reply. I think your point about classical music benefitting from having centuries to throw away the bad stuff is legitimate; I tried to polish prose a bit. Concerning your comments about "The Nature of Classical Music", here are some quick replies:


Classical music is meant to be experienced for its own sake.
While the meaning of this sentence is somewhat vaguish, just ignore it. It is as true as saying that popular music is meant to be experienced for its own sake.
It is unlike other forms of music that serve as a vehicle for poetry or other lyrical content, or as an adjunct to other forms of entertainment.
Ever heard about Opera? Oratorio? Passions? Operetta? Melodrama? Soundtracks (many of these use classical music extensively)? Fantasia? Ballet? Sleeping Beauty?
I agree, this should be changed or deleted.
Of course there is this concept of "absolute" music in classical music (Kunst der Fuge and the like), but that applies to a very limited part of the classical music only. Note e.g. that "opera" was as much the top of the entertainment business in 19th century, as "Film" was that top in 20th century (in 19th century, it appears, that composers and public alike considered non-vocal orchestral music, especially symphonies, as a much more elevated and demanding kind of music than opera. Today perception sometimes seems the other way around: a symphony you easily can listen to in the background when working on something else - opera is perceived as much more demanding for the listener today).


Performances of classical music often take place in a relatively solemn atmosphere, with the audience expected to maintain silence and remain immobile during the performance, so that everyone can hear each note and nuance.
That's what you would do with any music that is a bit different from the music you grew up with, and that is performed for a life audience - e.g. you would do exactly the same in a concert of 15th century Villancicos, which is just the folk music of those days. Apart from the fact that some of the music that is now called classical, was distinctly intended to be talked through, and from the fact that who said the above apparently never attended an Opera in Italy, by the end of the 20th century more classical music is consumed as background music to other activities, than it is listened to as intensively as described above. When film music is performed separately from the film (e.g. Ennio Morricone), or when a musical with exclusively ABBA songs is performed, the behaviour of the public is not all that different than in concerts with exclusively classical music.
But surely the overall difference is there. A popular musician who never talked to the audience and expected a hushed silence would never get anywhere.
Yes, yes I agree with you: there is definitely some difference, but should be approached maybe a bit different. Don't know where you're from, but where I'm from (Belgium), fairly, I can't remember a classical concert I've been to the last years where there was no-one of the performers (or at least some speaker on the side of the performers) addressing the audience, and much more casual than it used to be some 10 years ago or so. Something that can be said is e.g. that when a work has several movements, it is not a habit to applaud between the movements, and that audiences to classical concerts normally are not informed about that every concert again, its just a convention they know about when they come to the concert. Of course, the recording of Concerto for Group and Orchestra shows other things (and this would be "classical" music to your definition - I, on the other hand, just added this work as example to the crossover (music) article).
And than you have still those Italians in opera: cheering so loudly after every aria they like, that it makes the polite "applauses" after the solo's in a Jazz concert look very pale indeed.
Also, your examples are in a way just further examples of classical music. The only people who perform centuries-old folk music are in fact classical musicians--early music groups. And when film scores get divorced from their films and played in concert halls, they essentially turn into classical music--think of Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije and Alexander Nevsky, now securely in the classical canon.
Well, here you're in that difficult domain of film music: Prokofiev, yes, OK, but that was rather because this composer was in the classical music tradition (and not even of the most futuristic of his time: generally he tended to neoclassicism). But then you have Help!, and the other Beatles films: does that suddenly turn "classical", just because it has been in a film? (Note that I see some difference between "being a pop classic", and being "classical").


The performers usually dress formally, a practice which is often taken as a gesture of respect for the music, and performers normally do not engage in casual banter or other direct involvement with the audience.
Well that's the kind of FUD somebody who knows nothing about classical music might try to use to keep you out of a concert of classical music. In early 21st century classical music performances generally are a lot more casual (just don't go to the ones where it's still all stiffy-niffy), without losing a bit of respect and appreciation for the music.
Nobody says you have to like this fact about classical music, but our job is to report the facts. Perhaps worth adding a bit on snobbery?
Well, as I said, I don't know where you're from, but all this is so much more relaxed in Belgium these last years. Maybe Queen Elisabeth contest still has some of the old stiffness (and yes, of course that's the concerts that are the most likely to have any international radiation when speaking of Belgium...). So at least a bit pointing out that this is not the same everywhere in the world (and frankly, I suppose USA is still lagging behind a bit in this respect - sometimes it feels as if the "separation" between high and low culture is still very much held up over there, the Proms are definitely European in that respect).


Written transmission, along with the veneration bestowed on classical works, has important implications for the performance of classical music.
Unclear sentence, makes it appear as if generally music that is exclusively transmitted in writing is object of veneration. Most classical music is absolutely forgotten (probably more than 99% of what is still available in libraries and archives). And the other less-than-1% that is still heard today is appreciated, liked, and what more, but stays far from idolatry-like veneration.
True, but I think there's a huge difference in how much veneration-behavior happens in classical music. Just look at the annoying veneration passages that editors are constantly inserting into the classical music articles in the Wikipedia!
Yes, yes, I see your point better now. The only thing I remarked so far is that there are some very active Opera-lovers, who with some excusable (in my eyes) slip of the tongue tend to get somewhat venerabilish sometimes (a bit out of order with wikipedia NPOV, and I tend to overwrite that when I happen to be working on such article).


To a fair degree, performers are expected to perform a work in a way that realizes the original intentions of the composer, which are often stated quite explicitly (down to the level of small, note-by-note details) in the musical score.
When performers try to render the music as faithfull to the composer's intentions as possible, that has less to do with veneration, than with making come to life something of the past, something like Walt Disney making a written fairy-tale come to life, e.g. without turning sleeping beauty in an ogre the moment she is kissed by the prince (that's a different fairytale, like you have so many different classical compositions).
Indeed, deviations from the composer's intentions are sometimes condemned as outright ethical lapses.
Ethical? When described in ethical terms, just buy another newspaper: the critic is no good: he/she should be talking about esthetical
Just as before, the article is supposed to report the truth, whether we like it or not. Read the reports on the recent productions at Bayreuth if you'd like a contempory example.
Belgian radio has every sunday afternoon a program where some people listen "blindly" to three performances of the same work and have to give their judgement on which is the best in their eyes. I never see that getting ethical (nor anything else when I discuss performance-related topics with others, or hear anything else on the radio) - whatever devastating the criticism might be. Not that there are no "ethical" discussions, e.g. on Wagner, and the anti-jewish pamphlet he wrote etc... but not ethical on performance practice. Indeed, it can be mentioned that some people get all ethical over it. But than at least accompanied by the question whether that is the way classical music should be listened at, and whether it is the way it is generally listened at.


Yet the opposite trend - admiration of performers for new "interpretations" of the composer's work - can be seen, and it is not unknown for a composer to praise a performer for achieving a better realization of the composer's original intent than the composer was able to imagine. Thus, classical music performers often achieve very high reputations for their musicianship, even if they do not compose themselves.
This is, however, in no way exclusive to classical music, think e.g. Joe Cocker
Nor is it being claimed as such.
Well, if it's not at least "typical" for classical music, what is it doing here? I see only a naming difference: what is named an "interpretation" or "rendering" of a work in classical music is called "cover" or "remix" in pop music (with the same discussion of whether cover/remix X is better or worse than version Y or Z). And it could be put forward as a question whether DJ's do more a performer's job or a composer's job? Composer, yes, but certainly something that is comparable with interpreter/performer too.


Another consequence of the veneration of the composer's written score is that improvisation plays a relatively minor role in classical music - in sharp contrast to traditions like jazz, where improvisation is central.
The contrast is not so sharp as one would be likely to think: in the music of the classical era, for instance, improvisation, e.g. in the form of cadenza's or musical contests, played a greater role than in most of the pop music of the second half of the 20th century.
Improvisation in classical music performance was far more common during the Baroque era, and recently the performance of such music by modern classical musicians has been enriched by a revival of the old improvisational practices.
"Revival" of improvisation is less linked to Baroque era, the 2nd movement of the 3rd Brandenburg concerto as a notable exception.
During the Classical period, Mozart and Beethoven sometimes improvised the cadenzas to their piano concertos--but tended to write out the cadenzas when other soloists were to perform them.
Mozart generally improvised his cadenzas, note also that Mozart only wrote cadenza's down reluctantly, under pression of demand by performers. In late 20th century, e.g. Jos Van Immerseel goes on stage improvising cadenza's of all of Mozarts 27 piano concerto's.
Well, the article mentions this, I don't think we need to give a particular example in such a general context.
Re. baroque music, I still forgot about Basso continuo, which of course too has some elements of "improvisation", but that's of course also improvisation at a completely different level as a Jazz solo - I don't know whether in pop music "drumming" and "playing the bass guitar" is experienced much as improvising, but if it is, than is the "basso continuo" likewise. But as you said I suppose it is covered elsewhere in the article.
Cheers, Opus33 15:36, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
And thanks to you too! F.

Sheet Music in WikiCommons?

I recently looked at Also sprach Zarathustra (Strauss) and saw an external link to a MIDI version thereof. Are there any organized efforts to collect every piece of classical sheet music as MIDI files into the WikiCommons under GFDL? This would do for music what Project Gutenberg does for literature; reading the entry for PG revealed to me the Mutopia project.

Talk about "Classical music" has been moved to: Talk:European classical music

Nonetheless, this morning I was cleaning up my User Talk page containing the talk that follows. Not wanting to add this old discussion to the ongoing new discussion, neither wanting to throw it away (since some of the old abuse has presently re-slipped into European classical music), I post it here, for the time being.

Reading the discussion at Talk:European classical music I get somehow convinced that for the Classical music page probably the only workable solution would be to make it a disambiguation page.

Further I think that Western classical music would not be a very bad idea either (at least that page should exist, and IMHO separate from European classical music), while that can make clear that at a certain point (late 19th century - early 20th century) there was a common tradition of classical music in what was then named as "the western world" - e.g. Dvorak, and the ofshoot of "European classical music" in the USA (and other American countries). Even "modern" classical music in the USA is (generally) still referring to this tradition (e.g. Cage and the like), while American composers in that tradition could not be called European classical composers. On the other hand every wave or genre or kind of music probably has its "classics", which is the other meaning of "classical music" that can be "disambiguated" at the "classical music" page, still IMHO of course.

What I suppose I think wrong with the present approach is that now the procedure is too much starting from a definition, and looking for the term one is defining afterwards. Probably, in my view, wikipedia should work the other way around: European classical music and Western classical music, which are both valid expressions one can find in literature, but are not the same - they only overlap to a certain degree - should BOTH be defined in wikipedia, each of them "as exact as possible" for what is understood when such term is used. Making Western classical music an undiscriminating redirect to European classical music as it is now, just will not do and never will - how ever much votes there are held over the ideal term for "art-music-you-know-what-I-mean".

--Francis Schonken 09:29, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)


The introduction currently says: "The term "classical" has many connotations." A lot of words have many connotations, why is this it important that "classical" is one?

(Also, the page says "The present page aims at distinguishing between the many meanings "classical" can have in the realm of music" and "This is a disambiguation page.")

Regardless of whether you agree with the classification, I think there is a succinct and unified definition of "classical music" we can provide at the beginning of the article. The current introduction pretends at a neutral point of view, but only succeeds in providing a explination all the more vague and still POV, and it makes the article seem scattered as if it stepped on a multiple-POV landmine.

I propose the following:

This article is about classical music as opposed to popular or folk musics. For articles on classical music of Western cultures, see: European-influenced classical music, For the period of European music in the late 18th century see Classical music era.

Classical music is produced in, or rooted in the traditions of art, ecclesiastical and concert music. A music is often considered classical if it includes some of the following features: a sense of tradition, support form the church or government, greater cultural capital, is "highbrow" (van der Merwe 1989, p.319), elite, sophisticated, or refined. Hyacinth 09:33, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Edward G. Nilges: IMO, the disambiguation of classical vs popular is incomplete without a discussion of Adorno.

Candidate for Cleanup

I have listed this article on the Wikipedia:Cleanup page. Anyone who logs on to Wikipedia with a simple question on classical music is going to be completely bewildered. This article should be replaced with a disambig page. --HK 14:23, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I tried my hand at making this a disambig page. I'm not committed to the wording or number of the opening paragraph(s), if any, but I thought some explanation would be in order as many people will not be expecting a disambiguation page. (As my computer logs me out randomly, the massive edits may be credited to my work IP address.) -Acjelen 23:42, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
What is confusing? What is lacking? Hyacinth 21:04, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Nothing, at this juncture. I found it to be confusing one week ago, when I listed it for cleanup, but I was happy with Acjelen's effort. I made one slight subsequent adjustment, and then removed the cleanup tag. --HK 00:38, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Redirect proposal

Since this is the english language Wikipedia and (from this dab) "In the English language, the term "classical music" is a homophoric reference to European classical music", Classical music should redirect to European classical music.

  • Support --Commander Keane 10:30, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- Even in English, the use of "classical music" to refer to western art music is contested by people who feel it should only be used to refer to music of a particular time period. If this page became a redirect, the target would be changed back and forth by editors: better to have a disambiguation page. -Acjelen 12:46, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
This controversy has gone on and on. I am satisfied with the present disambig page at Classical music, which was a stupendous improvement over the god-awful mish-mash that preceded it. My main concern is that those readers who want an article on "Classical music," by which they will invariably mean what we are now calling "European classical music," will be able to find it, and at present I am satisfied that they will. --HK 15:32, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose to counter systemic bias. This isn't really a dab page, though; we might consider removing the dab notice. —Wahoofive (talk) 17:18, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose to preserve the present sensible redirect and acceptable title for classic music in the Western tradition. --Wetman 08:00, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Support - creting a specific Classical music (disambiguation) page and redirecting this page to European classical music would be the correct thing in most of the cases I suspect (by correct I mean that if you left it as it is and disambiguated all the pages comming here the end result would be people reaching the same articles). The only two of the links on this page would you realistically expect links to be ment for when they arrive here and one of them is very likley to be linked correctly to begin with. Leaving it like this will make this a very high maintence DAB page. Dalf Talk 03:31, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
How would users find your proposed Classical music (disambiguation)? Won't having users change the target of the redirect back and forth between European classical music and Classical music era result in higher maintence? -Acjelen 04:09, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose But this page should not be a dab page. this should be an article on its own, as it used to be, before 23rd of august 2005 (check history). Robin klein 05:35, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
On August 23, 2005, most anything known as "classical music" already had a clear and more specific article. At the time this article consisted of some very wordy sections on ambiguity in the meaning of "classical music", a list of articles in Wikipedia on various traditions of classical music, and an essay. Since Wikipedia is not the place for original research and discussion is best on the talk page, it seemed that the vague and inexact "classical music" worked best in an encyclopedia as a diambiguation page to inform users of the various and more specific kinds of classical music and direct them there. -Acjelen 05:49, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Wahoofive. D-Rock 04:17, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support It is crazy that this page does not refer directly to European classical music. As the article itself notes, in English, classical music refers specifically to European classical music. Since this is the English language wiki, we should be going with that approach. Having a page that is so out of line with the common usage of the term is not a "neutral point of view" but can only be seen as political correctness run amok. We can link this directly to European classical music, with a link to a disambiguation page for the 0.000001% of the people who type in "classical music" looking for Chinese classical music. I should also note that the whole concept of "classical music" is a western one, so to apply the term to non-Western traditions with very different conceptions of themselves is inappropriate in any case.
  • Support per nomination. Rob 16:18, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Acjelen's first post. Though I would support the two most common English usages, European classical music and Classical music era being listed fist and separately before all the other world-wide usages. -MarkBuckles 19:35, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Or, more specifically, in the English-speaking world, the dictionary definition of "classical music" is "a. Of or relating to European music during the latter half of the 18th and the early 19th centuries. b. Of or relating to music in the educated European tradition, such as symphony and opera, as opposed to popular or folk music," and the naming of our articles should, per the naming conventions, reflect the most common usage, not the most musicologically correct usage. Dpbsmith (talk) 20:25, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
It's the ambiguity between the two definitions you mentioned that troubles me. See my note above. -MarkBuckles 20:45, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, "classical music" can refer to many different genres. However, I don't think that a dab page is a good idea either, because it presents minimal information. Rather, why not just make this a general page on all forms of "classical" music, providing references for noteworthy sources that deem them "classical", and brief summaries in sections linking to the broader articles for more information? "Classical music" is a noteworthy, and commonplace, term in its own right, and deserves an article, distinct from European classical music. -Silence 08:57, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose and I'm not sure any consensus is going to be accomplished on this particular proposal, since it goes back nine months. I propose making the page Classical music about so-called "European classical music", make the page Classical music (disambiguation) an actual disambig page and move all the stuff that's here now, to there. See my post below. Aguerriero (talk) 16:42, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose And I also think its time to close the voting.

Where could I find more specific info about musicians?


You have to check that out by looking at the proper entries. Karate Kid

Poor disambiguation

I was trying to work through pages linking here to disambiguate them, and it strikes me that this is a very poor disambiguation page. It actually creates ambiguation by telling people who "know" what classical music is that what they are actually thinking of is "European classical music", a term that I have never heard of until today. I contend that:

My main reasons:

  • No one will search for "European classical music". Almost anyone in the English-speaking world looking for information on "European classical music" will access this article. Making them go somewhere else is just adding another click.
  • This is unmaintainable as a disambiguation page. People writing and editing articles who are referencing "European classical music" will write "classical music" and link to this article, creating constant work for ths disambiguation project.

Thoughts? Aguerriero (talk) 16:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree but have some doubt about consensus. Maurreen 12:20, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the simplest solution is just to remove the {{disambig}} notice at the bottom. As things stand this is really more of a useful introduction to a general subject (along the lines of the Top 40 article) than a disambiguation page. It already is an article in all but name, why not make it so (and help out the poor souls working on Disambiguation Link Repair in the process). --Daduzi talk 11:23, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree that this should be the page for European classical music and could contain a link to Classical music (disambiguation)--Dcooper 19:35, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

I have found one or two articles that reference classical music in the broad sense given here. But because the primary meaning of classical music is "european classical music," the Wikipedia guidelines would indicate that there should be a separate classical music (disambiguation) page for anything other than european classical music.--Dcooper 20:04, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
My problem is that there was an insanely long and complicated discussion about this very issue about a year ago, on Talk:European classical music. It is almost mind-numbing to read through all of the arguments, but it appears that a loose consensus was reached that the term "classical music" was misleading and the article should therefore be moved to "European classical music". And so it was. Except, they didn't consider the problems with disambiguating, and that almost everyone from that point forward would struggle with the result of their decision. So... do we open this can of worms again? Just make the change? I'm not sure. --Aguerriero (talk) 20:32, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I was one of the people who fought to keep the title of the page as Classical Music, as it should and must. However when people were trying to rename the entire page as European inspired classical music or etc. I suggested a better option of AT Least naming the page European classical music. please read the entire discussion to see my stand.

This problem has been created by people from other parts of the world like India who relentlessly want to keep on demonstrating that their music is Superior and refined than any other classical music of the world by calling their Hindustani sangeet as Indian classical music. I had even asked the question, Why not call African music as African Sangeet?

Just see the number of different people around the world calling their traditional indigenous music as Classical. It is this elitist notion that has hijacked the term classical music. If this mess can be finally resolved then PLEASE rename the page titled European classical music back to its original and sole rightful term of Classical music. Robin klein 23:48, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Requested move

The current state of this page is creating a big problem for those of us who work on disambiguating links. The principal issue is that editors who are creating or editing articles containing information about so-named "European classical music" are almost unilaterally using the link Classical music, which leads to this disambiguation page. This process is creating a neverending workload at WP:DPL, where this article remains the #1 offender for pages linking to a disambig page.

Additionally, I contend that the vast majority of English-language Wikipedia users looking for information on so-named "European classical music" will type in "Classical music".

Simply put, we are making it harder for people to find information, we are making it harder for people to edit articles correctly, and we are making it harder to fix disambig pages with links.

I believe this situation was caused by the decision to move this article to European classical music and then make a disambig page here. The arguments for this move (which can be seen at Talk:European classical music)were well thought-out, thorough, and valid, but I don't think they were in the best interest of the encyclopedia. Simply put, I contend that the vast majority of English-language editors mean one thing when they write "classical music", which is the article that got moved. I accept that there are some people out there who might mean something else - which is the very reason we have the template {{otheruses}} to go at the top of the page.

I propose the following:

Please indicate whether you support or oppose below. --Aguerriero (talk) 14:46, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Support for my reasons outlined above. --Aguerriero (talk) 14:46, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support the move of European classical music back to Classical music. However, I think the current classical music article should be renamed but should not be kept as a disambiguation page. There are a few articles that link to classical music in this multi-cultural sense, and we should have a real article (not a disambig page) about it.--Dcooper 16:47, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Dcooper's suggestion --Daduzi talk 18:41, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I oppose this move for the following reasons:
  1. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) suggests using the most common name. In this case, I do not dispute that the most common name is "classical music".
  2. The primary exception to using common names is ambiguity. If there is ambiguity, articles should be at their most common unambiguous name.
  3. There is ambiguity in this case, because other genres are called "classical music". These include genres, such as various kinds of Indian classical music, from a large, English-speaking country (India).
  4. Because there is ambiguity, we should use the most precise title. Namely European classical music (or Western classical music, which I'd actually prefer, but either one is acceptable to me)
  5. Also note that scholarly English language sources do not generally use the term "classical music" without qualifying it, unless it is clear from the context what is being referred to. Two examples that I have on hand are Peter Manuel's Popular Musics of the Non-Western World (a scholarly work) and the Rough Guide to World Music, a popular, non-scholarly work. Both refer to "classical music" unmodified only when it is clear which tradition is being referred to.
  6. I understand the disambiguation linking issues, however, I don't find this convincing. We have an obligation to produce the best encyclopedia possible, and that includes being precise and informative. If somebody follows a link to "classical music", that should lead to a disambiguation page because we don't know what is being referred to -- it could be many different things. Perhaps most of the links on this wiki are referring to European classical music, but that shouldn't be dictating our article titling. We decide article titles based on encyclopedic value, not ease of linking.
  • Tuf-Kat 22:03, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Hey, I've thought all along that the article currently called European classical music should be called Classical music, because the naming convention says to use the most common name (not the most sophisticated, the most cosmopolitan, the most technically correct, or the most scholarly), and because the dictionary definition of classical music is "3. Music a. Of or relating to European music during the latter half of the 18th and the early 19th centuries. b. Of or relating to music in the educated European tradition, such as symphony and opera, as opposed to popular or folk music." I.e. the dictionary says classical music = European music, and the only question to my mind is whether Classical music should be about sense a, classical-not-romantic, or sense b, classical-not-popular. Of these two usages, I think b is overwhelmingly more frequent. If you go to a music store looking for Liszt, Hindemith, or Hildegarde of Bingen, you'll find them in the section labelled "classical;" on the other hand, if you want Indian ragas you'd better look in "World Music." Dpbsmith (talk) 13:38, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. The use of the phrase "classical music" for non-European styles is only a Western convenience, pasting a specifically Western phrase onto non-Western musics. I believe there is no such distinction made in other cultures, at least in the same way; what we in the West call "Indian classical music," for example, is at best just an approximation for how that culture's "high-art" music functions, and at worst very misleading. Plus, 99.x% of people looking for information on Western classical music will look up the phrase "classical music" without the qualifier "Western". Wspencer11 16:35, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support please use the right term for this form of music just as one should use right term for other musics. So please move back European classical music to Classical music. While so called Hindustani classical music should be moved to Hindustani sangeet. Robin klein 05:26, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Hyacinth 08:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support I disagree with Tuf-Kat that there is ambiguity with the phrase "classical music." If one is looking for an article about Indian classical music, one would type in Indian classical music, not just classical music as seen by simple Google India searches. Someone trying to link "classical music" to "Indian classical music" or whatever else is being irresponsible in not clarifying the link, just like someone who wants the word "Chicago" in an article to link to the movie or band "Chicago" instead of the city but just links Chicago in the article. Wangry 09:38, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Title of Article is poor and not NPOV

I got to this page through the classical music article. I do tend to agree that since most people think of classical music as Western or European classical music and not other kinds that having the classical music article be about European classical music is perhaps the best thing to do.

HOWEVER, I strongly disagree with the title of "Non-Western classical music" as a subject because nothing really connects all the different types of "non-western classical music" in any sense other than their being "non-western". There is no such thing as "Non-Western classical music" as a genre and no reason for such an article to exist except to emphasize a western/eurocentric POV. It would be like having an article on "white people" and then an article on "non-white people" which would be clearly ridiculous. Or another example would be having an article called "Non-western art history" alongside "Western art history". Both of these examples show how POV and stupid that would be but "Non-western classical music" is no less stupid.

I suggest changing the title to something like: "List of classical music genres" or "Classical Music (general)" and listing all music that is considered "classical" including "European classical music". The European classical music link should be shown like so European classical music alongside other types not set aside as something special and unique while all "non-western" types are lumped together and set aside.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Cpe1704tks (talkcontribs) 20:41, 28 November 2006

Per the discussion on Talk:Classical_music pertaining to this issue, I have decided to implement the following:

1. The article "classical music" should remain as an article on European classical music as this is the most common usage for classical music to mean "European classical music".

2. The title of this "Non-western classical music" article should be moved to: "List of classical music forms". This list will include all music forms that are sometimes named "classical" and the article description will be editted as appropriate to reflect that it is only a list.

3. The note on the top of the "classical music" article should now read: This article is about the genre of classical music or art music in the European musical tradition. For articles on other types of music called "classical" see the list of classical music forms. For the period of music in the late 18th century, see Classical period (music).

I think this proposal makes the most sense, is most NPOV and would resolve my issue. Admittedly only one other person has weighed in (in agreement) but I think I've given opportunity to have it discussed and so I'm going to implement it. Cpe1704tks 00:04, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Change of title: List of classical music styles to List of mainstream and art music styles

I propose we change the title of this article to List of mainstream and art music styles. The use of 'Classical', which refers to early 19th century European music, is not appropriate here. Thanks. --Kleinzach 00:11, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Australian indigenous music?

Does Australian indigenous music belong here? Surely this is a form of folk music rather than art music? No? --Kleinzach 14:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

No response, so I am removing this item. --Kleinzach 05:06, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Related category being discussed

Move proposal

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move to compromise title, which seems to enjoy de facto consensus support. - GTBacchus(talk) 03:38, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

List of art music traditionsList of classical music traditions — See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 May 23#Category:Non-Western classical music genres for details. Relisted; awaiting discussion in the section below. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 00:06, 21 July 2010 (UTC) Relisted billinghurst 04:14, 9 July 2010 (UTC)|Relisted. Fences&Windows 19:43, 1 July 2010 (UTC) Munci (talk) 16:37, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. As I observed before, the original title (List of classical music styles) had "classical" in it, and the move to "art music" was based on Eurocentric notions like "use of 'Classical' refers to early 19th century European music" and "the term ['classical'] creates a presumptive bias toward western music". I strongly reject these notions. We are trying to avoid systemic bias, after all. Walk up to any English-speaking person in India and ask them about "classical music", and they are more likely than not to think of Hindustani classical music or Carnatic classical music, before Western. Further, many of the traditions listed here call themselves classical music. "Art music" is a modern neologism that some academics have made up, but many of these traditions do not consider themselves "art music", nor do all of them consider their purpose primarily art, and certainly not "serious", "erudite" (or stiff) music. Shreevatsa (talk) 20:20, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. I disagree with the arguments above for changing 'art' to 'classical'. 'Classical music' is a specific term relating to the Haydn and Mozart to Beethoven and Schubert stage (circa 1760-1820) in the history of western music, applied by extension (and with dubious accuracy) to the whole of mainstream western music. Applying by further extension to the whole gamut of 'serious' world music traditions just makes for greater obfuscation. If we change the title of this article, we will also have to rename and revise the articles on Classical music and Classical period (music). This is from the introduction to Classical music:

This article is about Western art music from 1000 CE to the present. For Western art music from 1750 to 1820, see Classical period (music). For all art music styles, see List of art music traditions.

Classical music is a term that should be used accurately, not appropriated for special use in a new context. --Kleinzach 01:10, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Well, that's the very ground being contested here! The hatnote at Classical music was changed after this article was moved (by you, without a reply here), so that's a nonsequitur. You claim that Classical music only refers to Western music. That's a position (no doubt shared by several Western people) that I find Eurocentric. For instance, Indian classical music is always called classical music, not "art music" — "art music" is a neologism of dubious value. You want to restrict classical music to only some period of Western music (and when it's clear that the context is Western music, this further restriction may be ok); but that is what is being opposed here. Shreevatsa (talk) 01:46, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I think you are trying to pre-empt the use of this word on the basis of Indian Engish usage. I have absolutely no objection to you using 'classical' in relation to Indian music if you find the concept useful in that particular context. On the other hand I think it's objectionable if you try to use the word in relation to all other substantial musical traditions. This is an encyclopedia so our first duty is to be accurate not polemical. BTW I would appreciate it if you could withdraw the 'Eurocentric' epithet: my specialization is China-Japan. --Kleinzach 02:09, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Apologies about the last bit. :-) I've toned down the personal-ish argument. I do however retain the impression that the idea is influenced by Eurocentrism, as indeed all of us who speak English inevitably are. It is not merely Indian English usage — I read up quite a bit before my original comment, and most European academics writing on these traditions do call them classical music more than art music (see Munci's detailed comment below), as do many of these different cultures themselves (so it's in several of the world's Englishes). I'll grant that in popular usage in the US, say, "Classical music" does not evoke the idea of classical music from other cultures. But this is true of many phrases (e.g "classical literature"), and insisting that all such generic-sounding phrases must refer only to a specific culture does not seem a tenable position. Hope this is less polemical, Shreevatsa (talk) 04:35, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Please don't do this. If you want to modify your opinions please do so at the end of the conversation not retrospectively from the beginning. That just makes it harder for other readers to follow the discussion. --Kleinzach 06:31, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
A better way to do it would be with strikethrough: <s>Example text</s>. Munci (talk) 17:33, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
You're right; I'll keep that in mind in future. Here I saw "withdraw" and also felt it ought not to stay, so edited it out. Shreevatsa (talk) 00:25, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually there is no 'common name' involved in this question - it's not a question of Pibroch or Pìobaireachd - it's an article title. --Kleinzach 06:26, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why our usual policies about common names should not apply here. BTW, here are some other sources (apart from the fact that your linked article Pibroch begins with "… is a classical music genre…" despite being almost unrelated to Haydn/Mozart/Beethoven etc):
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Music, Classical:

    Term which, applied to mus., has vague rather than specific meaning:
    (1) Mus. comp. roughly between 1750 and 1830 (i.e. post‐Baroque and pre‐Romantic) which covers the development of the classical sym. and conc.
    (2) Mus. of an orderly nature, with qualities of clarity and balance, and emphasising formal beauty rather than emotional expression (which is not to say that emotion is lacking).
    (3) Mus. generally regarded as having permanent rather than ephemeral value.
    (4) ‘Classical music’ is used as a generic term meaning the opposite of light or popular mus.

  • Hundreds of other books contain the phrase classical musics. Looking at them makes it impossible to believe the claim that "classical music" refers only to a Haydn-Mozart-etc tradition.
  • I picked a random tradition listed on this page, other than Indian I'm familiar with, and tried comparing: there are 9940 books for "classical music" thai as opposed to 3070 for "art music" thai, etc. This is similar to Munci's exercise with books instead of Google Scholar.
To summarise, I have no doubt that several books restricted to Western music do use "classical music" in a restricted sense — it is convenient for their purpose, and understood from their scope. But by and large, several books that actually deal with the classical musics of other cultures do call them classical musics. Shreevatsa (talk) 14:50, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
You're right that this is not simlar to the choice between pibroch and piobaireachd: that's a language difference - pibroch's the English and piobaireachd's the Gaelic. 'classical' and 'art' are both equally English. Munci (talk) 16:51, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment The present list is a very incomplete list of ethnic and regional, religious, court, and ceremonial music, some instrumental and some relating to song, some living and some dead traditions, some very specific (e.g. Pibroch) and some so broad as to have little meaning (e.g. Chinese traditional music). For that reason, one of the music editors (not myself, despite the personalization of this issue above) proposed 'art music traditions' as the most neutral and comprehensive way of describing all the items listed. I am against renaming this as 'Classical music traditions' because that would restrict the necessary development of the list, and lead to more use of pipes and redirects to articles that don't exist such as 'Chinese classical music', 'Cambodian classical music' etc. Dumbing down Wikipedia by using poorly-defined, lowest common denominator terms like 'Classical' (in this case obviously a usage derived from Anglo-American record shops), is a disservice to readers who need precise and accurate information. --Kleinzach 23:48, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The original title of the article had "classical music" in it. Analogues of those redirects like Chinese art music and Cambodian art music don't exist either. I am of course not opposed to making the list better. I do continue to object to the restrictive usage you seek to ascribe to "classical music" (no doubt also a notion shared by whoever proposed to move the article — was it the Western classical music project?) or the idea that it's a dumbing-down, poorly-defined etc. term any more than "art music" would be. The scope and nature of the genres is themselves poorly defined, but this is an artefact of the attempt to give one phrase to several genres, and any of them will fail to varying extents — some of these genres may be considered classical but not art, or art but not primarily classical. The numbers and definitions indicate that in nearly every single case they are more often considered classical than art. The main thing is, I see no good reason to have made the move in the first place. I also don't understand why you think "art music" is more "neutral". Shreevatsa (talk) 00:32, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style (music), section 19: 'Classical music' is a broad term for mainstream Western tradition music dating from the Medieval period onwards. The term 'classical music' did not exist before about 1836, when it was used to refer to the music of the Classical era (of roughly 1750–1820). Many editors feel that it is inappropriate for music written since the end of the 19th century, hence apostrophes are commonly used as a short-hand for 'so-called'.(The MoS also makes reference to 'Indian classical music', which as I noted before is a specific (and unproblematic) usage, not an invitation to stick the word 'Classical' on every world music tradition.) The MoS is a Wikipedia guideline, so it should be followed, except in special circumstances. --Kleinzach 01:05, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  • (1) You did not quote the section entirely, and I find that section to support what I'm saying. :-) The last sentence "(Unless it is clear from the context, do not refer to 'classical music' without qualifying it as 'Western', 'Indian', etc.)" makes it clear that without additional context "classical music" has multiple meanings. This is why the article classical music can restrict its scope only after a hatnote. (2) The purpose of the first three sentences seems to me to be primarily to establish restrictions on date in the Western context and explain why apostrophes are used. (3) That page has "Use common sense in applying it" at the top. (4) It's MoS:MUSIC, not MoS. From the focus of the page it does seem to concentrate on Western music, which does not entirely cover the scope of this article. (5) Most importantly, guidelines on Wikipedia are not "rules", but reflections of community consensus — and they should be followed only in order not to go against the community's consensus, not because they are the "law". Consensus can change, and I'm unconvinced here that the existing consensus here, if any, is strong (or carefully considered). This will need to be discussed, and that's what we're doing here. Shreevatsa (talk) 04:15, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Mildly oppose. I agree that as far as Western music goes, considerations of encyclopedic precision weigh against applying the term "small-c-classical" to this list, although I'd be much more upset if a move were afoot to apply "capital-C-Classical," and "classical" means so many different things in so many different traditions that it's likely even more misleading applied more widely. That said, I like "art music" at most only slightly better. First, it implies that various popular/folk musics can't be "art," which is manifestly absurd (and no, I don't mean to suggest that the latest banality from Hannah GaGaSpears is anything more than commercial pap). In the Western tradition, at least, all too much "small-c-classical" music is nothing more than very, very old popular or semi-popular music--see, for example, all those catchy "Dances from Terpsichore"; or Kathleen Ferrier's account of "Blow the Wind Southerly"; or, for that matter, the assorted Johann Strauss waltzes. Second, I strongly suspect that no users outside the fairly small world of Western--OK, art--music lovers, and likely many or most even within it, would ever think to look for that term; they far more likely would look for "classical," the term in widespread public use. Could we come up with a better alternative than "art music," maybe something like "formal musical traditions" or "concert music traditions" or the like? I'm grasping at straws here, but I'd heartily endorse renaming the list with some better term. I just don't think "classical" is the term we need. Drhoehl (talk) 00:03, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
  • There are no easy answers here. The introduction explains that the list doesn't include 'folk' or 'popular' (which IMO implies that we should remove Pibroch). 'Art' covers all the other entries AFAIK. I don't think we can use 'concert' (performance context) because many of these traditions are ceremonial/religious etc. with audience participation. 'Formal' is perhaps a bit vague, though I don't have any strong objection to it. --Kleinzach 02:32, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't support the current title "List of art music traditions"; no person I know of will associate Carnatic music with "art music" as opposed to a "classical music" tradition. Munci's research seems to confirm this to some level, and to that extent, a change is definitely needed - and if this is the only one possible, then I'd support. However, perhaps a better way forward is to rename the title to "List of classical and art music traditions" or something similar. This would eliminate potential conflicts on the matter, I think. Ncmvocalist (talk) 06:00, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The problem with 'classical and art' is that these are not clearly distinct, mutually exclusive terms. --Kleinzach 11:13, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
  • This is a mere list. People can become entrenched in a long-standing dispute over what can be very petty details, or people can come to a type of compromise. People need to choose what is the best way forward in the long term. Personally, I think the latter is the obvious (it doesn't have to necessarily be the proposal I made - I just picked an obvious suggestion), but the only way for that to happen is for people to review strong disagreements and any excess bureaucracy. Ncmvocalist (talk) 14:07, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Is there any hope for a compromise of 'classical/art' ? Munci (talk) 17:03, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Very good points, Ncmvocalist. Certainly no one would call Carnatic music "art music" rather than "classical music", and this is true of several other genres here, but I admit it may be true of certain of these genres that they are called "art music" more frequently — although all the numbers we have seen so far contradict this. I am willing to admit that "art and classical" (or "classical and art") may be an acceptable compromise. The terms are not, of course, mutually exclusive, but this is unavoidable, and not even a problem — it would be "the most neutral and comprehensive" term, as someone said. Shreevatsa (talk) 06:54, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
  • One of the titles will always redirect to the other; your first sentence is equally strongly a reason not to have made the move in the first place (and to restore it to its original title). It is hard to imagine how a term that is less common for each genre can be a better name for the umbrella term. Your argument is valid for showing that the proposed new title is not optimal by itself, but it is still better than the current title. Among the two titles, "classical" is more common for each. So what is your argument for opposition? Shreevatsa (talk) 06:54, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Outsider comment there are so many variations of the term that you each see, it would seem that a broader discussion of the terminology that is used would be more appropriate than trying to solve that here. It really sounds like take the matter away, collaboratively work on the definitions, and then you can come back and determine which pages belong where. Otherwise it would seem that you will argue yourselves to a frustrated standstill. For an admin to battle through this discussion is going to be difficult until the consensus is clearly demonstrated. billinghurst sDrewth 04:17, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Good point, but I think what's the case here is that both terms have some currency in the real world, although "classical" is more common. So I'm not really sure it's within Wikipedia's scope to dictate on one name or the other, which is why I'm okay with the ugly compromise of just putting both in the name and getting on with it... although if one is to be picked, the choice is clear (to me). :-) Shreevatsa (talk) 07:43, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi. It has already been moved, so it shouldn't have been on requested moves. You can remove it. It seems the only compromise title :-), and no one seems to have complained after it was moved. Thanks, Shreevatsa (talk) 03:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Move Proposal continued

There is currently a move discussion going at List of art music traditions over whether it should have 'art' or 'classical' or some compromise between the two in the title. Further input is likely to be helpful in achieving consensus. See above at Talk:List of art music traditions#Move Proposal. There is also a (now archived) related discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 May 23#Category:Non-Western classical music genres. Munci (talk) 22:09, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

What more, exactly, ought we to do here? I've already argued the case: the original name of this page had "classical", and "classical" is more common than "art" in every instance (as you so helpfully uncovered). On the flip side, many books focusing on Western classical music define the term "classical music" to mean only Western classical music, but works dealing with Indian classical music (for example) also use "classical music" in a different restricted sense, so this downside (if you can call it that) doesn't seem compelling to me. So the choice seems clear to me, which is why I support moving it back to the original name, but the compromise of just including both words in the title and getting on with life also seems acceptable. Shreevatsa (talk) 07:43, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

What I would like to know before making a decision in this matter is how for example the term 'Indian classical music' is used in a contemporary context. Regarding 'European' or 'western classical music' I wouldn´t use it for any contemporary music. You could of course use the term 'contemporary classical' (also applied to the Indian example), but in my opinion this concept should only be used for music which in a relevant way relates to the classical traditions. Hence 'art music' and 'classical' music shouldn´t be used synonymous - at least not in the western tradition. A further and related point which can be made against the claim of synonymity is that some more leight-weight forms of western classical music (most commonly forms of light opera and dance music) doesn´t qualify as 'art music'. I think I read a corresponding argument in the case of Indian classical music above. --WikiPBia (talk) 22:33, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

In the Indian context at least, "classical music" means music that is in the classical tradition (rather than film music, pop music, folk music, etc.) — that is, music that is either in the Carnatic or Hindustani tradition, involves ragas, etc.— what's listed on this page. The phrase "classical music" is not used for the equivalent of Western contemporary "art" music (which hardly exists in India in any significant way), although of course there are new compositions and innovations which are well within the classical traditions, and treated as such. I agree that the phrases "classical music" and "art music" are not exact synonyms, and that is exactly my point: the category of "art music", developed in order to sort out kinds of Western music, is not universal and is being misapplied here: for instance, no one calls Indian classical music "art music", because its purpose is not primarily (viewed as) art. Similarly with the rest of the genres on this page. Most of them are classical traditions [I guess a "tradition" is likely to also be classical? :-)], but not (merely) "art". They are all more frequently called classical music than art music, as the search results show. I'd vote for "classical music traditions", but simply including both names would also be fine. Shreevatsa (talk) 01:11, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
After reading the art music page and some of the discussions on its talk page I think you will find that 'classical music' is more easily defined. And I also acknowledge your point that in the most cases 'classical' is the word commonly used. In any way I don´t think that its perfectly clear exactly what this article is intended to list. Is it major movements in the history of music of different parts of the world, or is it now living traditions of music with deep roots? Further possible interpretations given is that it lists music either by its quality or by its function. To exclude music from this list by lack of quality would I think seriously lead towards point-of-view problems. But to use the function is in my opinion a possible solution and also something you yourself hints at when excluding at least film music. But in this case the function should of course be carefully stated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiPBia (talkcontribs) 09:26, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're saying. What are you proposing? This page is intended to list classical music genres across the world. They are not all covered by the ugly neologism "art music", as has been demonstrated. There is no question about quality or anything; it's just a list of classical music styles. This seems an unreasonable amount of discussion to simply revert the page to its original title, when it has been demonstrated that the new title is not good. Shreevatsa (talk) 17:32, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
After some thoughts I favor your standpoint in the case in question; IMO it is better to use 'classical music' than 'art music'! But what I am trying to say is that to fully appreciate this and the article in general I would like to know more about the purpose of the list. And I propose that this should be more clearly stated in the beginning of the article. To just do a list of music styles or traditions that has been or could be labelled classical seems to me quite arbitrary. And furthermore it seems to me that the word 'classical' has been used quite differently in the different contexts. --WikiPBia (talk) 18:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Re "But what I am trying to say is that to fully appreciate this and the article in general I would like to know more about the purpose of the list." - One purpose if no other is disambiguation, like any other disambiguation page. Munci (talk) 19:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes that would be a valid purpose! --WikiPBia (talk) 19:28, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for that short remark which wasn´t obvious for me; and which seems to me to solve a lot of problems with the article. I hope you don´t find it too bold for me to go ahead and make the changes accordingly?! --WikiPBia (talk) 19:59, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome! I don't really; we'll see if anyone else does. The only thing I would say is that "distinguished from popular or folk music." need not have been removed necessarily; I feel it has an equally likely definition as, if not better than, "Such traditions often date to a period regarded as the "golden age" of music for a particular culture". Sources should be key though, right? I try to find some. In Economic and Transmission Factors as Essential Elements in the Definition of Folk, Art, and Pop Music, an opposition among pop, art/classical and pop are assumed. In this, it is said that the main difference between folk and art are that folk music is something you just learn by being around it whereas classical music is something you are actually taught. Also, folk songs usually have particular functions whereas art music traditions include music played for its own sake. And pop music is the only one where there is a middle man between the musician and the patron. There is "Music of European as well as some other classical music traditions is music of and for the mind, often in isolation of the body. It is important that other world cultures have developed particular classical music traditions in the same artistic-aesthetic sense as marks European classical music. ... Thus we have African, Indian, Chinese etc classical music, maybe not written, but embedded in oral memory and advanced and preserved in oral tradition." in A contemporary study of musical arts by Meki Nzewi,Odyke Nzewi If only I could access History of Classical Music Traditions by Frederic P Miller, Agnes F Vandome etc. That looks to be exactly what we need. Munci (talk) 22:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
It seemed to me hard to establish that the distinction with folk and pop music could be applicable for all the traditions of the list and also somewhat beside the point. But maybe I acted too hasty in deleting it. The claim of an 'golden age' I really didn´t bother to deal with I just added the [citation needed] flag. --WikiPBia (talk) 23:38, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
If we need to establish the distinction of art music apposed to folk/traditional and popular music, maybe we could just link to art music were the distinction is being made with reliable sources. But I thought the point was that we do not need to make any definitions in this article it just lists different uses of classical and art music and the definitions are being made in the corresponding linked pages. --WikiPBia (talk) 00:09, 21 July 2010 (UTC)