It's pretty much uncontroversial that, e.g., Liszt can be classified as Romantic, Bach as Baroque, Mozart mostly as Rococo (or Classical, if you must) and I'd argue that Debussy is an impressionist (possibly against Debussy's own opinion). Certainly, noone ever fits the shoes prefectly of any given genre, but there are certain major traits that make it fair to classify the artist under a genre. With that said:

Can Sergei Prokofiev be classified similarly in any music genre?

I can only classify him as producing Russian music of the 20th century... So, perhaps as a Russian and 20th century composer. Is there any better classification for him? He's one of my favorites, I'd like to find more music similar to his.

Thank you!


1 Answer 1


Based on the umbrella definition of classical music, it's easy to say that Prokofiev, as well as Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Debussy, is a classical music composer. Unfortunately, you and I are both aware of the much clearer distinctions we can make between all those composers' styles.

In the case of Prokofiev, I've been unable to find a more specific term for his style than the "Russian and 20th century" label you've already provided--if anyone has evidence he's a Modernist, Expressionist, or anything just as succinct, please let me know!

I've personally found that the fellow "Russian and 20th century" composer Dmitri Shostakovich has the most similar style overall (though Shostakovich has more moments of great consonance)--their music reaches similar levels of partly tonal dissonance, from my experience.

  • I completely agree with what you said about Shostakovich, in fact I almost used him as an example of similar music. Although I find Prokofiev a genius, I also find it hard to believe that he was sui generis. His music is clearly Russian and the dissonance and "play" with the tones is typical of 20th century compositions. Do you remember anyone besides Shostakovich? There are similarities, even tributes I think, to Rachmaninoff, but they're very different, Prokofiev is more playful, erudite and constrained. And IMHO besides his early phase (in parts), there's no similarity to Stravinsky
    – flen
    May 22, 2018 at 14:24

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