It's been around for centuries, musicians still play it and audiences love it, so classical music must be pretty awesome, right? Hell yes! That doesn't mean that the average Joe can dive right into any classical composition. Symphonies and sonatas can be hard to understand because: 1 there are no lyrics; 2 there are ten tons of musical ideas packed into one piece unlike the typical pop song with a hook and contrasting bridge ; and 3 the length of the works are often long. However, sooner or later most curious listeners want to give classical music a try, and over the years I've recommended the following pieces with successful results. Classical fans argue about which performance of a Beethoven symphony is best, but here's a secret: for newcomers, the performance is less important than the actual composition. Note: There's no vocal music here. Many newbies have trouble with operatic singing, and different languages.
What exactly is classical music, and what differentiates it from other musical genres?
On Air Now
Classical Music in the 21st Century. Search this site. Periods of Classical Music. Types of Works. Major Composers and Works. Common Music Terms. Recommended Listening. How do I decide which recordings to listen to?
Please refresh the page and retry. S o, you want to explore classical music? You need to find the parts that speak to you personally. It may be that Russian music fires you up, or the calm beauty of Renaissance music, or the adventurous, strange sounds of living composers. When you make the discovery it will feel like fate, as if the music was just waiting for you to come along. T he first step is to locate the door that lets you into the world of classical music, which you can then explore, one step at a time, at your own pace.
By Anthony Tommasini. Naturally, I urge those exploring classical music to find out whatever they can. A symphony orchestra program — or an opera, or a piano recital — is not an exam. Ah, that inevitable question. But in a broader sense the term classical music has been adopted as a way to describe the continuing heritage of music mostly written to be performed in concert halls and opera houses by orchestras, singers, choruses, chamber ensembles and solo instrumentalists.