(Last Updated On: November 10, 2022)


Article by Elizabeth Ehlis – Classical Music Month in September recognizes the study and beauty of classical music. Classical music falls into a category much different from today’s standards. However, classical music ultimately led to the music we create today. 


When people think of classical music, they often consider it to come from one period or era when great composers created lasting works. However, classical music is more than just one large period of time and is broken into different smaller periods, each having its own differences. It is interesting to see just how much music has changed over time!

Classical Music Time Periods

(PLEASE NOTE: The dates of the time periods are estimated since there are no exact dates for when each time period occurred/ began/ended)

Medieval (500ish­ – 1400)­

The church influenced medieval era music. Forms of music from the early part of this period would be Gregorian Chants and Organum. Composers from this period include, Hildegard von Bingen, Guillaume de Machaut

Renaissance (1400/1450­ – 1600)­

During the Renaissance era, many new ideas developed. Composures received more freedom from the church, encouraging experimentation, too. The printing press, invented in the 1400s, also allowed for music to be printed. Composers also created instrumental music. Composers from this period include William Byrd, Claudio Monteverdi, Josquin Des Prez. 

Baroque (1600 – ­1750)­

The music of the Baroque was very ornate. This period also created the concerto, cantata, oratorio, and sonata. The instruments also advanced during this period. Composers from this period include Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi.

Classical (1750/1775­ – 1820)­

The composers of the Classical era created simpler, cleaner music than Baroque music. They also focused more on the melody. Dynamics (the volume change) were important. Classical music added woodwinds to the orchestra. Composers from this period include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven*, Franz Joseph Hayden. *Note: Beethoven is considered to be a bridge between the Classical and the Romantic periods

Romantic (1820 – ­1910)­

The Romantic era created very expressive and emotional works. The orchestra saw much growth in this period, too: The woodwind and brass sections expanded. Composers from this period include Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Johannes Brahms.


Find some classical music to listen to alone or with friends and family. Attend a local concert to reap the full classical concert benefit! You can also learn to play an instrument. Those who already play, perform classical music for yourself and others. If you’re in school, then consider taking band or joining a music club. There are plenty of ways to celebrate! Use #ClassicalMusicMonth to post on social media.

Educators and families, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom to find more ways to Celebrate Every Day!


In 1994, President Bill Clinton proclaimed Classical Music Month to be observed in September. 


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