Is Classical Music a Genre or Style?

Is classical music a genre or style? Many people debate this question, but there is no clear answer. In this blog post, we will explore the different opinions on this topic and try to come to a conclusion.


In musical terms, the word “genre” refers to a specific type or category of music. The word “style” is more general, and can refer to a specific era, composer, or performance tradition. For example, Baroque music is a style that was popular in Europe during the 1600s and 1700s. Johann Sebastian Bach is a well-known composer from this period. His music was characterized by complex harmonies and intricate melodic lines.

What is Classical Music?

Classical music has been around for centuries, and its roots can be traced back to the medieval era. The term ‘classical music’ is used to refer to a wide range of music from the Western world, including music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods.


Though the term “classical music” is widely used, it’s often used incorrectly to refer to any kind of music that isn’t modern pop, rock, or jazz. In reality, classical music is a genre that encompasses a wide range of styles and subgenres, from medieval plainchant to contemporary opera. If you’re new to classical music, the sheer number of styles and subgenres can be overwhelming. But don’t worry – in this article, we’ll help you make sense of it all.

First of all, let’s clear up one common misconception: contrary to popular belief, classical music is not a style. Rather, it’s a genre – like jazz or rock – that encompasses a wide range of styles and subgenres. To further complicate matters, some styles and subgenres that are commonly considered “classical” actually predate the birth of the genre itself.

So what exactly is classical music? The simplest answer is that it’s Western art music that has been composed by trained composers and performed by professional musicians since the early 1600s. But as we mentioned before, the genre contains a vast number of styles and subgenres, each with its own distinct character and history. In the sections below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most important ones.


classical music is not a genre, but a style of composed music that originated in the Baroque period. The word “classical” is derived from the Latin word “classicus,” meaning highest class. This moniker was given to the music of the Baroque period because it was felt to be the peak of musical achievement. Composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel wrote music that was meant to be performed in churches and concert halls, and it was often quite complex, with multiple parts and layers.

The Classical period followed the Baroque, and lasted from approximately 1750-1820. This was a time when composers began to experiment with different forms and instrumentation. The most famous composer of this period is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose operas and symphonies are still performed today. Ludwig van Beethoven is also considered a key figure of the Classical era; his works fuse elements of both the Baroque and Classical styles, and paved the way for the Romantic period that would follow.

Though it is no longer considered “modern” music, classical music is still composed and performed today. Many orchestras perform only pieces from the Classical repertoire, while others perform a mix of both modern and classical works.

The Difference Between Classical Music Genre and Style

Classical music is often seen as a single genre, but it is actually made up of many different genres and styles. The difference between classical music genre and style can be confusing, but it is actually quite simple. Genre is the type of music, and style is the way the music is performed.


Classical music is often considered a single genre, but it’s actually split into two distinct categories: classical and romantic. The difference between these two genres is mainly in their approach to composition and form. Classical music is characterized by its use of rationalization, structure, and order while romantic music values intuition, emotion, and imagination.

The Classical period of Western art music ran from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. This era was marked by the works of composers such as Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. The goal of classical music was to create a logical, unified whole from its various parts. The form and structure of classical pieces were carefully planned out before they were composed.

The Romantic period followed the Classical era, lasting from the early 19th century to the early 20th century. This era was defined by the works of composers such as Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms. Romantic music placed more value on feeling and expression than on logic and form. Composers often wrote pieces that were inspired by personal experiences or emotions.


While “classical music” is a genre, it can be helpful to think of it as a style. This is because the term “classical music” is used to describe a wide range of music that was composed over a long period of time by many different composers.

Because of this, you will find that there is a lot of variation within the genre of classical music. For example, you may find that some classical pieces sound very similar to pop songs, while others are much more complex and difficult to listen to.

There are also many different sub-genres of classical music, such as Baroque, Romantic, and Modern. These sub-genres each have their own distinct styles and characteristics.

So, while “classical music” is technically a genre, it is more accurately described as a style of music that encompasses many different genres and sub-genres.


This is a difficult question to answer definitively as classical music can be seen as both a genre and style of music. On one hand, it can be classified as a genre because it is a specific type of music that has its own distinct characteristics and history. However, it can also be seen as a style because it encompasses a wide range of music from different periods and cultures. Ultimately, the decision of whether to classify classical music as a genre or style is up to the individual.

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