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Thread: Classical music and non-classical music

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    Red face Classical music and non-classical music

    Who can tell me - what is the strict distinction between classical music and non-classical music?
    Is the matter in rhythm only?
    And jazz rhythms - can it be intermediating and connecting this two subjects ?

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    Senior Member Razumovskymas's Avatar
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    Listen, read and reflect about it a couple of years and you will be able to form your own personal distinction between "classical music" and "non-classical" music. Because there is no strict scientific definition.

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    Why asking,you have the whole internet at your disposal ! There is a lot to find on youtube.Listen and make up your own mind.What is the use of a definition?
    You must have a clou otherwise you did'n sign up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckolay44 View Post
    Who can tell me - what is the strict distinction between classical music and non-classical music?
    Is the matter in rhythm only?
    And jazz rhythms - can it be intermediating and connecting this two subjects ?
    It is a fuzzy subject, and the 20th Century has tried to take away those distinctions. As Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson wrote, it's those blurred lines. (Which is definitely non-classical music).

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    If you mean western classical music versus rock, jazz and pop, then the biggest difference is that works of classical music have a definitive text and tunes in the other categories do not. That is, everyone playing Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata will be playing the same notes in the same order. By contrast, if one goes to youtube and listens to five versions of Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat," none of them will be playing exactly the same notes in the same order. It's the same with pop tunes which, when they are covered by different artists tend to be in different arrangements and for different instruments with chords revoiced or even changed. One notable exception is classic rock cover bands like that Retread Zeppelin band (I forget the name they actually go by) who attempt to produce Led Zeppelin tunes just as originally performed.

    Most of the other major differences are institutional, meaning classical musicians are trained in a particular way in music conservatories or by professional performers, where fluent literacy with music notation is required. They tend to perform in ensembles made up of similarly trained musicians who perform music with definitive texts and in concert series devoted to similar performances. By and large, if it is being performed by the New York Philharmonic or the Emerson Quartet (the institutions in this case), then it is classical music — and if it isn't, they will tell you they are departing from their normal repertoire.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Dec-25-2017 at 16:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    If you mean western classical music versus rock, jazz and pop, then the biggest difference is that works of classical music have a definitive text and tunes in the other categories do not. That is, everyone playing Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata will be playing the same notes in the same order.
    Of course, the 20th Century took that away, introducing improvisation and writing music with things like graphs. Again, blurred lines.

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    Really, the difference would be the instruments used or if they even use instruments. Even then, the "non-classical" songs can easily be transcribed into classical just by changing the instruments. Also can be the other way around.

    But, theory wise the distinction is the tempo portrayal, most rock is in allegro, where some tone it down to andante, depending on the genre. EDM is usuallly Allegro and faster. While witchhouse is usually half time to lento, grave, or even larghissimo in some cases.

    But most rock spans from Jazz and Blues, similar with hiphop.

    Jazz is basically an extention of Classical. Sorta how Metal is an extention for Rock, or Rap to Hip Hop.

    Which certain forms of rock have specific instruments used. often Trio, Quartet, or Quintet.
    for general rock there is a Guitarist, Bassist, Drummer, and a Singer (sometimes who plays a second guitar or rhythm guitar.)
    this can easily be switched to classical by making the quartet into a quintet or sextet, with a timpani-ist, cellist, violinist, (if the rhythm guitar is used) a Violist, Then depending on the SATB voice range, add the wind instrument, along with a cymblist.

    Where hiphop would require a bunch more... Probably a marching band, and what ever else is needed.

    Though I think EDM would be impossible to switch to classical... since the performers would end up going into seizures by repetively playing the same measure over and over again... sigh... that would be horrible. So please, no one should attempt that...

    Each "umbrella" genre has many genre branches. Much like a family tree. Strangely the roots of music which are nearly impossible to find. aside from the Hymn to Nikkal among a few others, are quite unknown.



    But, to incite the differences, Edward Bast does have a point.

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    ^^ That is the way Duke Ellington and Mingus saw Jazz, as modern classical. They also use similar scales in some works. But I think Jazz originally stemmed from Blues.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    I think the real difference between jazz and classical music is the venue where the music was meant to be played. The other is what Edward pointed out: classical music is fully written out.

    its easy to get sentimental and look at the musical material used in jazz and find similar things in classical music, but jazz is played at 3 am in bars

    ...good jazz, I mean

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I didn’t read the OP before, but I think the stylistic conventions and arrangements/instrumentation has most to do with the distinction of classical vs. non. I noticed my conservatory now have fully written out Jazz pieces by Oscar Peterson and others in their ciricullum. Ellington’s Three Suites by Tchaikovsky is obviously very composed has a Jazz style in the rhythms. While some of Cage’s aleatoric music or Cardew’s Treatise is hardly written out, but more in performance.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Perhaps I have a very simplistic view, but I like things to be black and white. Now I know there is a big grey area, but to me the difference is this: 3 or 4 piece band vs. orchestra. For the vocal end of it: microphone vs. unassisted vocal power.
    Last edited by SixFootScowl; Mar-02-2018 at 05:53.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Perhaps I have a very simplistic view, but I like things to be black and white. Now I know there is a big grey area, but to me the difference is this: 3 or 4 piece band vs. orchestra. For the vocal end of it: microphone vs. unassisted vocal power.
    Usually very true. Classical, Folk and Jazz instruments are usually acoustic, while popular music has used utilized the studio. But Stockhausen, Henry and others have actually used recordings of sounds and electronics as part of their own recordings which are considered classical.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    I didn’t read the OP before, but I think the stylistic conventions and arrangements/instrumentation has most to do with the distinction of classical vs. non. I noticed my conservatory now have fully written out Jazz pieces by Oscar Peterson and others in their ciricullum. Ellington’s Three Suites by Tchaikovsky is obviously very composed has a Jazz style in the rhythms. While some of Cage’s aleatoric music or Cardew’s Treatise is hardly written out, but more in performance.
    big bands like the Ellington band have charts because those horn sections are all arranged, but if you check the parts, the 2nd chair (jazz chair) gets solos and the rhythm section charts may just be changes. so what I'm getting at is there is still a lot of improvisation going on, even in a big band setting, and big bands rare these days anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    Of course, the 20th Century took that away, introducing improvisation and writing music with things like graphs. Again, blurred lines.
    However, there are improvisations in classical music too. Listen to Baroque music from 17th centuries, performed by early music scholars, you will hear lots of improvisations there.

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