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A term to describe "classical music"

Date: Tue, 28 May 96 13:30:48 EST
From: stclair(a)MIT.EDU (Richard St. Clair)
Subject: A term to describe "classical music"

Jerry wrote:
>Does anyone know of any generally accepted musical term to use in place
>of the commonly used word, "classical," to describe the literature of
>the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist,
>etc., periods of music? It seems like such an ambiguous term, since it
>implies both the superset and a subset the way it is generally used.
>I'm looking for a single word or short phrase.
My understanding is that lower-case 'classical' takes in all these
categories, while uppercase 'Classical' refers to the Haydn/Mozart/
Beethoven era. Even that creates confusion around the 'cusp'
composers like CPE Bach at one end or Rossini, Schubert and others
at the later end of the 'Classical' era.

I've heard the term "Western Music" referred to apply to this
general catch-all tradition, but then the Beatles, John Cage,
and Philip Glass are also "Western" - so, go figure!

Richard St. Clair
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