What is classical music?

Here is a practical definition of classical music.

People always make music. They just can't help it. Wherever they are, whoever they are with, and with whatever tools are available they will try and communicate movement, feelings, thoughts, ideas and memories through music.

At certain points in time, in certain social conditions, forms of music were developed which reflected the sophistication, wit and refinement that the patrons wished others to see in them. A lot of the time, these forms are what people are talking about when they say "classical music".

Outside that, it's so diverse in form and content that it's pretty hard to pin down!

Commonly accepted forms of classical music include concerto, sonata, symphony, opera, and in these forms musicians have developed incredibly effective vehicles for the transmission of cultural intelligence.

The variety of expression is bewildering and presents an extraodinary catalogue of human creativity and endeavour. There are lots of ways to express yourself in music and you can choose your own flavour.

Often it refers to music performed by people, and often recreating pieces written by deceased, often long deceased persons.

Note: There are exceptions to every definition. And exceptions to every exception! Classical music is also sometimes performed by machines, for example Taito - the ROBO - Guitar - and the music may be written by people who are in fact still very much alive.