Class of Classical Music

Origin of the Genre

The origin of classical music can be found dating back to the Medieval times (5th to 15th century). Classical music was not created by Black people, and unlike the previously mentioned genres classical music was not led by Black people.Within classical music, there are different eras to break down the styles of music. These eras are:

  • Renaissance (1400-1600)
  • Baroque (1600-1750)
  • Classical (1730-1820)
  • Romantic (1780-1910)
  • 20th-century

Characteristics of the Genre

Classical music usually follows a set complex form. The different forms of classical music are:

  • Opera
    • Opera is the only form of classical music that is not entirely instrumental.
  • Concerto
  • Symphony
  • Sonata
  • Cantata

Instruments used in most classical pieces are strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments. Black composers infused jazz elements with classical components to create their own style.

Social Implications

After the emancipation/Civil War classical music was used as a way for Blacks to try and assimilate into White culture. It was also used to try and gain racial equality within music.

Important Performers

  • William Grant Still 
  • George Walker
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
  • Florence Prince
  • Hale Smith
  • Adolphus Hailstork 
  • David Baker
  • James Depriest
  • William Chapman Nyaho
  • Joseph Boulogne


The commodification of classical music is dependent upon Whites because Black people did not create classical music.

Influences of Future Genres

Classical music can be attributed to the restoration of classical music by making the neoclassical genre.

Conclusory Opinions

Black composers in classical music helped to renovate and revive classical music.

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