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Classical Music/western and non-western classical music

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Question
What defines classical music? I've been a fan of classical my whole life and recently I've gotten into Indian classical music which is very different from its Western counterpart (though equally beautiful in my opinion). Why are both of these styles under the classical label?

Answer
They are both called "classical" because they are considered the highest form of music in the culture.  When speaking of people like Mozart and Bach and knowing there may be readers from India, China, etc., insert =in the Western tradition= or =in the Western European tradition=.  Thus, no one is offended (implication: your culture has no classical music), and everyone understands you are speaking of classical music from England, France, Germany, etc.
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Classical Music

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Martha Beth Lewis

Expertise

I have a PhD in musicology, with expertise in medieval - Renaissance - Baroque - Classical periods, but I'll try to help you with any period.

>>*****IMPORTANT NOTE*****<<: I do not answer questions marked "private." I don't want to type the same thing to someone else later if I typed it to you already! If you mark your request "private," I will send it back to you requesting you to remove the "private" flag. Thanks for your understanding. Remember, I'm a volunteer.

My answers are not toss-offs. If I don't know the answer, I will do my best to find it.

I have many requests to identify a piece of music. If I can't identify it, I will tell you (1) what composer I think it is; (2) what composer or composers I think it is not; (3) what style period, genre, etc. I think it is or is not. And give you any other help I can to help you find the answer.

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I ask that you >>COME BACK TO READ MY RESPONSE<<. I've taken time to write the best response I can, so you should come back to read it! It's disheartening to respond to a question, only to see later that the person has not bothered to come back. Remember: I'm a volunteer!

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I am happy to help you - that's why I volunteered - but please remember I *am* a volunteer and extend me normal courtesies, such as no multiple submissions and not bothering to come back for your answer. mb

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If you submit a question to other Experts or the pool, I'd appreciate it if you would >>NOT<< submit it to me, also. It's like asking several people out on a date and choosing among those who said yes! This implies my time and particular expertise are worth nothing to you. I want to spend my time responding to those who find my qualifications germane to their question. Remember: I'm a volunteer!

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