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Classical Notes

What Is Classical Music?

Posted at 1:45 PM on August 2, 2006 by Rex Levang

Brian Newhouse’s posting of a few days ago, bringing together classical chamber music and an Aly and AJ concert, reminded me of something I’d just run across.

A few years back, teacher and critic Greg Sandow taught a course at Juilliard on “Classical Music in an Age of Pop.” Many of the students were rock aficionados, besides having (presumably) a classical background. As part of the course, he asked his students for their description of what classical music is.

Rather than undertake the thankless task of defining classical music in 25 words or less, he asked them for a list of qualities or characteristics. The kids did a pretty good job, though I think they missed a few things. Sandow’s summary is here, and as always, there’s room for your thoughts below.