Classical vs. New Age Music

12 December 2017

There are almost as many different types of music as there are people. From the simple harmonies chanted in monasteries before even the five-lined staff was invented to songs of modern pop culture and everything In between, music has been a huge part of life for as long as people can remember. There’s music for church, music for parties, music for every occasion. Western Art Music Is the oldest form still listened to and performed today.

The literature most well-known across continents and generations such as Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” or Mozart infamous “Waltz” – gives its common name – classical music.Classical music is the most traditional music and gives a good foundation for musicians of every level to learn on. The musical genre known as New Age is perhaps the classification which differs the most – and yet can still remain the most similar to classical music. Like our generation, New Age is very eclectic. It often mixes classical elements with modern sounds. You’ll soon see why this genre is the epitome of thinking outside of the box. The most apparent parallel between the two Is when an all-time classic Is given a modern twist.

In “Canon Rock” takes Bachelor’s work and changes the rhythm, style, and Instrumentation to form a modern rock hit from one of the most traditional and sedate pieces. As you will notice, in some places, the electric guitarist even adds some ornamentation. But overall, it’s clear where the artist got his inspiration as the well-known melody line is still the basis for this tune. Many classical pieces as well as New Age works share the same mood.The soothing tones of classical pieces such as “April Morning” and the worshipping attitude of “Jesus,Joy of Man’s Desiring” can be compared to the relaxed, meditative approach or the spiritual sensation that New Age can have. Being a modern composer of classical music, Debussy “Claire De Lune” has the tone and instrumentation of a Western Art work yet uses Intervals and sequences of a more meditative, New Age-Like feel. Instrumentation Is both a similarity and a difference between classical and new Age music In that their relation Is like a Venn diagram – there are Instruments shared by the two and ones which are unique to each respectively.

The piano as well as string and woodwind instruments are used in both genres of music. But while the classical branches out to include older instruments such as the organ and the harp which New Age does not incorporate, the latter stop at what have traditional been considered musical instruments. Steven Helpers, a major composer of New Age music creates pieces which typically consist of a piano or flute as well as the music of nature: a bird’s chirp, a waterfall, an owl’s hoot, and the ocean’s waves. However, the backgrounds of composers of classical music defer greatly from hose of the New Age genre.

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