Western Classical Music: The Landscape

The encouraging response to my teaser post has propelled me towards thinking of an outline for how to structure this series. Here is the first draft of my proposed outline.


  • What is Classical Music? Brief History.
  • Differences between Hindustani & WCM
  • Challenges in WCM appreciation

The Basics

  • Periods (and why they’re important)
  • Genres/Styles (ditto)
  • WCM used in Movies (for easier appreciation)
  • Some key terms explained (Sonata Form, Major/Minor, Counterpoint, etc.)
  • Recommended Listening for Beginners (sampling across genres/periods)


  • Movies about WCM
  • Documentaries about WCM
  • Books on WCM

Digging Deep Into Specific Works

  • Mozart 40/41
  • Beethoven 5/7
  • And some others

Am I missing out something you were looking for? Any suggestions? Any feedback appreciated.

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  • I think that’s a great start! You may want to have a section on instruments (esp. old ones) and break up ‘key terms’ into: formats (sonata/ symphony/ concerto) and musical terms and notations (chords, etc.) – this part should probably come under ‘structure’ of WCM. And in the deep dive section, PLEASE do not miss out on J S Bach 🙂 who gave us the well-tempered clavier and in doing so influenced most of what was to follow in the history of WCM.

  • Thank you!

    Instruments section was also suggested on Twitter, will definitely add that.

    Yes, will do (re: formats/musicology terms).

    For JS Back, will either attempt my best or invite guest post from you! 😉 (Yes, without Bach, there would be no WCM)

  • fast dots

    Glad to have you writing on AUM regularly 🙂

    Great start! I would also throw in a little bit more about WCM evolution.

    As an aside, I have really enjoyed Carnegie Hall listening adventures – check out their work on Dvorak’s 9th symphony at http://listeningadventures.carnegiehall.org/nws/splash.html

  • @FastDots: Thank you! 🙂

    I am planning to cover a bit of the evolution aspect when discussing the periods.

    Thanks for the Carnegie Hall pointer, will definitely check it out!

  • Nice! Looking forward to this 🙂


  • That was just the final push that was required! 🙂 Thanks, Gauri, very much.

  • sharmi chakraborty

    Can you please extend the topic of music appreciation a bit?
    EFor example a brief note on world music with different genres explained and the relation of european classical music with that of other forms of classical music could be something interesting to talk about.

    • – Music appreciation – that’s what this is all about.
      – Yes, different genres is planned, also comparing WCM with ICM.
      – Will try to provide links for further reading wherever possible.