Today, it seems that almost every group has a “month” in their honor. A sampling for September includes……Honey, Piano, Little League, Fall Hat, National Hispanic Heritage, Subliminal Marketing, Kids’ Good Manners, and …Classical Music.
During September, 90.5 WKAR will celebrate Classical Music Month! Though we celebrate classical music every day on 90.5 WKAR, this month aptly leads the way towards 90.5’s 60th anniversary (October 4), the return of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s radio broadcast season, and the kick-off of the Classical Music Endowment Fund for WKAR.
Those of us smitten with the genre have most likely had a friend, relative, or a child ask you “What is classical music?” You may have been caught off guard, even a bit tongue-tied in trying to provide a quick and succinct answer about a musical genre that encompasses many styles of music that span more than 700 years!
Historically, classical music originates from the Latin term “classicus”or taxpayer of the highest class. As the word made it way through the French, German, and English languages the definition evolved into several words: classical, formall, orderlie, approved, authenticall, and principall. According to The American Heritage Dictionary classical in regard to music is described as: 2. Mus. a. of European music during the late 18th and early 19th century. b. Of concert music, such as a symphony and opera, as opposed to popular or folk music.
Classical music, according to music historiographers, is classified by six different stylistic periods: Before 1400/Medieval (characterized by Gregorian chant, mostly religious), 1400-1600/Renaissance (an increase of secular music, madrigals, and art song), 1600-1750/Baroque (known for its intricate ornamentation), 1750-1820/Classical (balance and structure), 1820-1900/Romantic (emotional, large, and programmatic compositions), and Beyond 1900/20th Century (limitless).
We know that many 90.5 Classical listeners and readers of our program guide have been fans of the genre for years, however, if you are a new classical music fan we’re providing here a list of our favorites…
“Top Ten Essential Symphonies”
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 9, “Choral
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique”
Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5