The musical tastes of a population naturally change over time. This gives rise to distinct music periods and styles. The musical forms, genres, and techniques popular in one part of the world are not always popular in other parts of the world. Similarly, the musical forms, genres, and techniques popular for one generation are not necessarily popular for the next generations. While styles and periods in music are closely related, we should note the difference between the two.
Periods in music refer specifically to music within a particular historical context. The Classical period (usually) refers to music from Europe written between c.1750 and c.1820. While the term ‘period’ technically refers to a particular time frame, a geographical element is also implied when talking about musical periods. Classical European music and Classical Indian music, for example, are entirely different kettles of fish.
Many styles of music may exist within a particular period. While the characteristics of a particular style of music might be framed within the context of the period in which it exists, wildly different styles can exist within one period. Consider the neo-classical style of Dmitri Shostakovich and the Jazz music of the same period – the 20th Century.
Find out more about specific styles and periods of music by following the links below.