Classical music in its widest sense is held to refer to music deriving from learned traditions, taught through institutions either specifically devoted to music (e.g. modern Western) or through institutions or traditions (typically religious) dedicated to transmission of specific schools of music. Classical music is thus contrasted with popular or folk music.
In the English language, the term “classical music” is usually a homophoric reference to European classical music and its derivative styles, and is rarely used to refer to traditional musical styles of other regions. It can also carry the specific meaning of concert music dating from the period of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and their immediate successors. This Classical music era is thus distinguished from, for example, the music of the preceding Baroque and the subsequent Romantic eras. It is with respect to this latter canon that the term ‘classical music’ was first used, in the 1820s and 1830s, denote a body of music that was compared to the classical traditions of art, sculpture and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome.
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