Whether your go-to Spotify playlists are filled with country music or blues, rock music or R&B, one fact remains the same: Their inspirations can all be traced back to classical music. And while classical might seem unapproachable to those who aren’t familiar with it, this broad genre offers a wide range of styles, influences and instruments with appealing tunes for all tastes.
“There’s a lot of beauty in classical music, and a lot of different types of beauty. You don’t have to love all classical music, but if you expose yourself to different kinds of it, you’ll probably find something you’ll like,” said David Rothenberg, professor and chair of the Department of Music at Case Western Reserve University. “And even if you don’t, the process of learning about its traditions, techniques and aims is edifying.”
The best way to get started? Talk to someone who knows the genre well. Rothenberg even volunteers to be that source. In his view, the more one knows about classical music, the more they’re able to appreciate it.
“Classical music is an acquired taste,” Rothenberg said. “It’s not self-evident nor obvious how it works, even though it sometimes presents itself as if that’s true.”
Ready to jump in? Check out one of the many upcoming performances by talented ensembles at the university or visit our neighbors, The Cleveland Orchestra, for an upcoming concert. (Students: Make sure to enter the weekly drawing for free tickets to see The Cleveland Orchestra.)
If you’re still not sure classical music is your “thing,” check out the following recommendations from students and faculty members from the Department of Music. They shared their favorite compositions with us in honor of Classical Music Month.