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Art music

Related: art - abstract music - art rock - avant-garde music - classical music - contemporary music - electronic art music - experimental music - jazz - music - Musique Concrète - serious - sound art - twelve-tone music

Contrast with: folk music - popular music


Music composed in a classical tradition and intended as serious art, especially as distinguished from popular or folk music. --AHD [Oct 2005]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_music [Oct 2005]

Problem of definition

The very distinction between art music and popular music is blurred in the border regions. In this respect music is like fiction, which likewise draws a distinction between high literature and popular fiction that is not always easy to maintain.
"Neat divisions between 'folk' and 'popular', and 'popular' and 'art', are impossible to find... arbitrary criteria [is used] to define the complement of 'popular'. 'Art' music, for example, is generally regarded as by nature complex, difficult, demanding; 'popular' music then has to be defined as 'simple', 'accesible', 'facile'. But many pieces commonly thought of as 'art' (Handel's 'Hellelujah Chors', many Schubert songs, many Verdi arias) have qualities of simplicity; conversely, it is by no means obvious that the Sex Pistols' records were 'accessible', (trashy?) Frank Zappa's work 'simple', (Frank Zappa is considered by many a serious composer) or Billie Holiday's 'facile'." (light?) (Middleton, 1990)

--adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_music [Oct 2005]

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