Contemporary Classical

An explanation of the Contemporary Classical music genre part of a comprehensive list of music genres.

The Music Genres List site covers many of the most popular styles of classical music, but reader Julien pointed out one we were missing; Contemporary Classical genre.

If you have anything to add, please send an email to add @ musicgenreslist dot com if you feel any classical music genres are missing.

Julien Palliere wrote:

I’m a classical musician/composer, and you included a lot! But here are a few you left out. Contemporary music is one of them. It’s basically the ‘alternative’ of classical music. Any recent classical that doesn’t fall under a classical genre is Contemporary (Steve Reich is a “contemporary” composer). If you were trying to convey this by “Modern Composition”, no classical musician has ever heard of that.

On Steve Reich (Wikipedia) –

American composer who, along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass, pioneered minimal music in the mid to late 1960s.

Writing in The Guardian, music critic Andrew Clements suggested that Reich is one of “a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history”.[5] The American composer and critic Kyle Gann has claimed that Reich “may…be considered, by general acclamation, America’s greatest living composer”.

Reich’s style of composition influenced many composers and groups. His innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns (for example, his early compositions It’s Gonna Rain and Come Out), and the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts (for instance, Pendulum Music and Four Organs). These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially in the US. Reich’s work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably the Grammy Award-winning Different Trains.

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Thanks Julien!