When we think of September, we think of Labor Day cookouts, back to school, and the color and beauty of impending Autumn, but September is also a very special month for history: National Classical Music Month.
Classical music finds it’s historical beginnings as early as the eleven hundreds, but in the centuries to follow it would form the basis and shape for literally every style of music that came to exist thereafter. The traditional definitions of classical music place the golden period of it’s technical beauty and influence squarely in what’s called “the common practice period,” a historical period from about 1550 to 1900 (roughly encompassing the decades from Bach to Beethoven in musical terms). However, the term itself wasn’t even coined until the 1830’s.
Beginning early in the twentieth century and continuing to the modern day, popular music has steadily evolved, although lacking the traditional technical understanding and artful musical language that generally characterize classical music. And the classical genre itself has also adapted to modern tastes, retaining it’s structure and complexity while coming to include non-orchestral instruments like electric guitar and bass, electric percussion, and synthesizers. The other courses of music’s evolution involve the musicians and composers that make it possible, who have come to embrace alternative looks, like body piercing and colored hair, that would never have been seen among the musical community just decades ago.
When we think of what life would be without music, it’s easy to see that National Classical Music Month is a time of the year to be embraced and celebrated.