Hewett, I. (2015) Europe. In: The Other Classical Musics: Fifteen Great Traditions. Boydell & Brewer, Martlesham, Suffolk, pp. 216-245. ISBN 9781843837268 (hardback) 9781782045359 (e-book)


Western classical music has elements that have changed over the years, so they cannot be boiled down to an essence. This essay describes the narrative that links these elements together. It examines early chant and the development of notation, the realms of both sacred and secular music, key figures and genres in the various periods of history, elements of spectacle, dance and drama, the rise of a marketplace of music, the notion of self-expression through music, the dominance of tonality and its ultimate decline, accompanied by the decline in its audience to one defined primarily by education.

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