Modern vs Classical

Music is generally classified as either classical or modern.

  • Modern music is considered to be the type of music you would hear on popular radio stations today. Genres of modern music would be rock, pop, country, dance, etc.
  • Classical music genres would be Baroque, Renaissance, and Romantic just to name a few.

Journalists and even artists usually cover or perform one of the other. The reason for this is due to the many differences between classical and modern music. Before you set off on your new career in music journalism, here is how modern and classical music contrast.

The first difference between the two is just in how their composed. Different notes played together are called chords. The two generally have different chords making up the structure of the music and is a big reason why they sound different. Modern popular music when compared to classical music is very basic. It tends to reuse the same notes and chords. Because of this it is technically simpler. Classical music uses a much wider variety of note structures.

A second difference is that classical music is mainly instrumental. Modern music is also instrumental, but it is not the major focus of the music. The vocals are the main focus. Another difference is that classical music pieces are considerably longer than modern songs. Classical pieces can last hours. Your typical modern pop song is between 2 and 5 minutes. With classical pieces, the music notes coveys the emotion of the piece. In today’s popular music, the words and singer convey it.

There are both subtle and massive differences between the two. These differences are generally the reason music journalists only cover one or the other. Choosing which side to cover depends on what you are most comfortable and knowledgeable in. A listener of Bach and Handel would choose to cover classical music. If Lady Gaga or Katy Perry is your style, then modern music might be the path you should choose.