33 votes
Accepted

What was classical music called back in the days?

I would separate out the idea of "art music" -- or "high music" versus "low" music -- from the specific question of musical "classics." You can find clear taxonomies of genre from high to low in ...
user avatar
  • 2,091
29 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

Symphonies were historically commissioned pieces of work. The commission was to pay for the writing and then the performing. Commissioning for symphonies has mostly disappeared so orchestras are not ...
user avatar
22 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

All musical forms, from Gregorian chant to hip hop, are most closely associated with a particular time and place, they go in and out of popularity. Older forms become a niche product, created and ...
user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Why do many vinyl albums place sides I and IV on one record and II and III on the other?

Many phonographs were able to play multiple records in sequence with a mechanism that would hold one or more records on the turntable, and one or more additional records elevated on the center post. ...
user avatar
  • 372
17 votes

Slow and deliberate, hauntingly beautiful classical piece (identify from score)

This is the second movement (the Allegretto) of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony (score). Your notation is slightly different from the Beethoven, but this is certainly the piece you're looking for. It's ...
user avatar
  • 2,058
15 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

There are still symphonic compositions being made but most are created as scores for movies. John Williams is one of the most prolific soundtrack composers, writing scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones,...
user avatar
15 votes

Are there any examples in classical music history of "mashups" of two unrelated works?

The technical term is "quodlibet" (meaning "whatever you please"). A famous example is Bach's "Goldberg Variations" in which two folksongs are combined in various ways. ...
user avatar
  • 271
12 votes
Accepted

Has any instrumental music ever been used to carry information?

YYZ by Rush is a pretty obvious example. YYZ is the IATA airport identification code of Toronto Pearson International Airport, near Rush's hometown. The band was introduced to the rhythm as Alex ...
user avatar
  • 306
11 votes

Has any instrumental music ever been used to carry information?

In classical music, the term for composition inspired by or including a message or code is a cryptogram. This approach to composition was sometimes used by the western-European classical composers. ...
user avatar
11 votes

Has any instrumental music ever been used to carry information?

They've been using talking drums to communicate between African villages for centuries. (Drum telegraphy) A village elder, usually the griot, would play the drum to announce weddings, births, deaths,...
user avatar
  • 842
11 votes
Accepted

What music is this?

This is In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg, compare Youtube, part of the Peer Gynt suite #1, op. 46.
user avatar
  • 1,239
11 votes

Which part of Schubert's Symphony No.8 is unfinished?

Wikipedia's article on Schubert's Symphony No. 8 gives details. Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years. A scherzo, nearly completed in piano ...
user avatar
  • 3,649
10 votes

What was classical music called back in the days?

It was just called music. It's hard to believe it, but this is the music everybody could hear and understand at the time (18th-19th century). Let's not forget that what we call today "classical music"...
user avatar
  • 507
10 votes

Identify classical song frequently used as songtrack for "posh" settings

Your piano playing sounds like a corruption of the 1st movement of Vivaldi's Spring from The Four Seasons. (Your piano playing is in the wrong key.)
user avatar
  • 402
9 votes

What did Chopin think of the saxophone?

Chopin was uninterested in any instrument other than the piano. As is known, other than pure piano pieces, he only wrote the cello pieces and songs in his very early youth and the two concertos. And ...
user avatar
  • 1,712
9 votes

Religious music - one note for extended period

The style of singing you describe is known as "intoning". Here is a description from online copy of ["A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1900) edited by George Grove", article by William Smyth ...
user avatar
  • 4,920
8 votes

Has any instrumental music ever been used to carry information?

'Amarok' by Mike Oldfield is (mostly) instrumental (it contains some shouting and some spoken word. It also contains a bit of morse code : a sequence of Morse code found 48 minutes into the piece,...
user avatar
  • 3,126
8 votes

How did Gilbert and Sullivan protect their operas from pirates?

In the begining of 19th century US law (copyright act of 1790) protected only American authors.(1) There were no international copyright agreements between the US and other countries, making it nearly ...
user avatar
  • 1,712
7 votes
Accepted

What piece of classical music is quoted in Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' "Sinister Minister"?

This sounds to be based on Bach's Preludium in C Major, perhaps best known as the accompaniment to Charles Gounod's Ave Maria.
user avatar
7 votes

What was classical music called back in the days?

What was classical music called back in the days? (Pre 1900s?) Was it divided in to genres as we do today, or was it simply categorized by the type of instruments used, or just "concert music". We ...
user avatar
  • 311
7 votes
Accepted

Flute melody from classical symphony

I would say it's "Morning Mood" from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. Peer Gynt started life as incidental music to the play of the same name by Henrik Ibsen; it included vocal as well as ...
user avatar
7 votes

What does "classical" mean? Is Dvořák classical?

The term Classical in terms of music has two main distinct meanings that have been mentioned in the comments. In the broadest sense Classical refers to music that is related mostly to the history of ...
user avatar
  • 449
7 votes
Accepted

Who is the Elise that Beethoven composed about?

Wikipedia offers some possibilities: Max Unger suggested that Ludwig Nohl may have transcribed the title incorrectly and the original work may have been named "Für Therese", a reference to ...
user avatar
  • 2,827
7 votes
Accepted

Chopin wrote a plagal cadence at the end of his Scherzo No. 1 that resembles a final "Amen" on a choral hymn. Was he a Christian?

Frederik Chopin was almost certainly born and bred as a Catholic, as were almost people in Poland during his lifetime. His father, Nicolas Chopin, was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to ...
user avatar
  • 6,767
7 votes
Accepted

Can't remember the name/composer of this well-known classical tune

It's probably the start of the Fugue part of Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Here is a YouTube link. Here is some sheet music, the part you're looking for starts halfway measure ...
user avatar
7 votes

Which part of Schubert's Symphony No.8 is unfinished?

Classical symphonies are supposed to have four movements. This one has only two, therefore it is technically incomplete. (Works in which individual movements are incomplete usually don't get published ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible