How Do You Reference Classical Music?

Classical music refers to Western art genres such as opera, chamber music and orchestral works as well as choral pieces that adhere to certain standards and orders, much like literature or painting classics.

Composition types (such as symphonies) often receive numbers in their titles followed by the composer’s name.

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Classical music stands as the pinnacle of perfection in form and structure, compared with folk or pop genres like folk or pop. It requires high levels of skill for its performance. While often associated with seriousness or sadness, Classical pieces have also been known to bring joy. No matter its emotion, all Classical pieces aim to become lasting works of art that can be enjoyed for centuries to come.

Misconceptions about classical music often arise because its name refers to music only from one particular era or composer (Bach, Beethoven or Mozart for instance) rather than covering most Western art music traditions from ancient to contemporary times.

Classical music’s foundation lies within a set of rules and standards musicians must abide by when writing and performing, known as fundamentals. Over time, these have changed to incorporate elements like tonal logic and harmonic organization; moreover composers began writing music to express moods and emotions during Baroque era (1650-1750); orchestras also experienced significant transformation due to replacing harpsichord with piano as one instrument was often played together simultaneously with it.

As a result, these changes gave way to what is now known as the Classical period in music, producing iconic works like Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

In the 19th century, “Classical music” was coined to distinguish it from other types of compositions and has come to represent all music composed prior to Romanticism.

As you research classical music essays for academic purposes, it is crucial to be familiar with all of the citation styles used in academic writing. Most Western courses follow Turabian style (which is derived from The Chicago Manual of Style) as their primary guide; other scholarly journals may employ their own guidelines as well. Whatever style is utilized when referencing music past.


As their name suggests, composers are responsible for creating musical pieces. Although many composers begin their careers as instrument players, over time their desire to compose music leads them down another path – learning musical notation and experimenting with sounds until eventually writing their compositions down on paper before playing back their pieces on various instruments.

Classical music is widely regarded as the pinnacle of Western art, and many believe that its creators should be revered and honored. Yet classical music can be daunting for those unfamiliar with its genre; to those not yet versed in its intricacies it may appear complex and require years to understand, particularly given all the different composers and works that compose this body of work.

Through history, the definition of classical has gradually evolved to accommodate changing trends in music. Originally, “classical” referred only to Greece and Rome’s classical period spanning approximately 560 BC to 400 AD; later on however it came to refer to any work which embodied ideal aesthetic traits; today this definition includes opera, chamber music, symphonies and string quartets among many others.

Many early classical composers were employed by churches, royal courts, or wealthy patrons – providing a means of earning a living while following their passions while at the same time restricting creative freedom. By the latter half of the 18th century this began to change as composers gained more recognition as independent artists.

Most modern composers utilize various resources to promote and publish their works, from entering competitions or composer-in-residence opportunities, to making connections with musicians and conductors so their music is performed by orchestras or other performing groups.

One of the essential tools for any composer is an accessible reference book. This will allow them to keep tabs on both their own musical catalog and those by other renowned composers – for instance, classical musicians should owning Bach Works Catalog is essential; it includes all his known works and can help determine what would enhance an existing collection.


Classical music refers to Western art music from the Middle Ages to present day, and spanning from formality and complexity through written notation up until today. Classical music forms the backbone of today’s musical culture – providing its own form of cultural focus like classic literature or art did in times past.

Classicized works of art inevitably distance themselves from their original context and their composer’s vision; musical works in particular may lose some of their expressive power and emotional impact as they undergo classicization; this, however, makes classicized pieces so attractive to new audiences who get to experience classical works with fresh eyes and free of expectations.

Classical music takes many forms and genres, spanning large-scale symphonies to chamber pieces to concertos for piano or violin to vocal works such as operas and songs. Classical composers created works in many diverse forms and styles; their styles varied greatly between pieces they composed.

Haydn produced an array of works, such as symphonies, piano and string quartets, masses and chorales, serenades, sonatas for various instruments and chamber works. Mozart too produced many diverse compositions – from symphonies and chamber music operas, to solo voice arias and piano concertos – among his output.

Music publishers provide composers with access to groups looking to perform their works and manage all related copyright and ownership matters on behalf of the composers they represent. Publishers publish musical scores and songbooks while also overseeing the production of numerous types of manuscripts (often facsimile reproductions) (see Music Manuscripts – Facsimile Reproductions above). They play an essential part in spreading classical music while marketing, promoting, and selling catalogs/recordings they represent through digital platforms as well.


Classical music is a genre that encompasses a broad spectrum of musical pieces, from Mozart’s opera Eine Kleine Nachtmusik to his symphonies and piano concertos. At its core, classical music refers to Western art music tradition dating back to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach up through Beethoven – often called the classical era due to codifying norms for composition, performance and preservation through institutions for education and preservation – also making the transition away from harpsichord/clavichord towards piano as composers main keyboard instrument in their compositions.

An important hallmark of classical music is its emotional resonance. Like other forms of art, classical pieces aim to communicate an indescribable quality of emotion that captures something about human experience.

An important characteristic of classical music works is their musical form or composition. A popular form is the symphony; other composition types may include sonatas, chorales and more. Composition types are sometimes designated with opus numbers (typically abbreviated as op.), such as Beethoven’s Fur Elise – actually Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Op.67

Some composers’ titles also include non-generic names like Messiah or Nocturne; this is especially common with popular pieces of classical music that have taken on these nicknames in popular culture. A piece’s name may also be determined by its keys or key signatures.

To properly reference a musical piece, provide the following information: Composer last name and first name, Piece/Collection Title and Performance Date. If recording is included, list record label, performers and conductor(s), year of release as well as translation if appropriate and any archived format relevant.