A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Classical

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
CLASSICAL is a term which in music has much the same signification as it has in literature. It is used of works which have held their place in general estimation for a considerable time, and of new works which are generally considered to be of the same type and style. Hence the name has come to be especially applied to works in the forms which were adopted by the great masters of the latter part of the last century, as instrumental works in the sonata form, and operas constructed after the received traditions; and in this sense the term was used as the opposite of 'romantic,' in the controversy between the musicians who wished to retain absolutely the old forms, and those, like Schumann, who wished music to be developed in forms which should be more the free inspiration of the composer, and less restricted in their systematic development. [See Romantic.]