Classical Music, popular term for the Western tradition of art music that began in Europe in the Middle Ages and continues today. It includes symphonies, chamber music, opera, and other serious, artistic music. More narrowly, the "classical" style refers to the work of the Viennese classical school, a group of 18th-century composers that includes Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven, which is the epitome of what is called classical music.
Choral Music, music sung by a group of people, using two or more singers to perform each musical line. The term part-song is used for vocal music having one singer for each part. Choral music is written for choruses, or choirs, consisting either of adults, children, or both.
Although complex genres of choral music developed in Western music, part-singing practices were also established in folk, tribal, and non-Western cultures. Such singing often accompanies manual labor, expresses joy or sorrow, or forms a part of religious ritual. Among the world's many singing traditions are the polyphonic (multipart), polyrhythmic choruses of African music; the relaxed harmonies found in the Alpine and northern Slavic areas of Europe; the tense-voiced women's canons of the Balkans; the unison choral singing that sometimes accompanies an Indonesian gamelan orchestra; and the unison and polyphonic choruses of Oceania.
In ancient Greece, religious feelings were expressed in drama by a chorus. Although the chorus members-like those of modern opera-were dancers and actors as well as singers, the term chorus eventually came to indicate only singers.
Chant, unaccompanied sung melody, the rhythms and melodic contours of which are closely tied to the spoken rhythms and inflections of the text. Chant texts can be either sacred or secular, but the term usually refers to sacred liturgical music. Chant has been used in religious ceremonies since ancient times. In terms of present-...