How does one define “classical” music? How is it different from other genres, such as “rock and roll” or “jazz”? In what way is “baroque” music different (or the same) as other so-called “classical” music?
Why do we carve musical genres into these subsets, anyway, and what are the characteristics that define each and create distinctions from other genres? Is there more commonality between genres than we realize?
I ponder these questions, and use these specific examples, in part because I thoroughly enjoy music in all these genres (and more), and I notice that some other people have more exclusive and fixed musical tastes. And the question is important because I wonder if people who *think* their tastes are finite might thoroughly enjoy other music if only they were open to the idea and exposed to high quality examples.
A number of music lovers over the years have told me their favorite two musical genres are baroque and … (surprisingly) heavy metal! I have heard this too many times to count, from teenagers in Metallica t-shirts attending a harpsichord recital, to adults who email to say their lifelong love of Megadeth has morphed into an affinity for Bach’s Magnificat. And while I *LOVE* these stories, and have heard variations on them for decades, I have yet to identify the connective thread between the genres. Maybe you can help unlock this mystery.
Are you someone who likes many different musical genres? How did your tastes evolve? Can you describe what you like about various types of music? Are they connected in some way that you can explain? Why do you like the music you like?