Classical music is a large genre describing art music originated in roots of western influence. The genre itself contains many subgenres and is far too vast to describe by a set list of characteristics and qualities. To condense said characteristics, classical music utilizes printed score and is more often than not performed by compound orchestral instruments and groups. Of these subgenres, some of the most popular and widely recognized are those used to describe periods in time of classical music. Because classical music encompasses such a large period of time, it has been broken down into epochs.
These epochs start with the “early music,” or the time in which Medieval music (500-1400) and Renaissance music (140-1600) originated. The Common practice period spans most of the Baroque (1600-1750), Classical (1750-1820), and romantic eras (1804-1910). The final epoch, which includes contemporary, postmodern, and 20th century music, is referred to as the Modern era. It cannot be stressed enough how large of a genre classical music is. However, it can be identified easily by the ear and has since found its way into commercialization in the late 20th century and currently in the 21st century. Documentaries, television series, and commercials have utilized classical music as an accompaniment to visual entertainment. Even very contemporary music utilizes elements of popular classical pieces.