is art music
produced or rooted in the traditions of Western
music (both liturgical
). It encompasses a broad period from roughly the 11th century to the present day.
The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period
Given the extremely broad variety of forms, styles, genres, and historical periods generally perceived as being described by the term "classical music," it is difficult to list characteristics that can be attributed to all works of that type. Vague descriptions are plentiful, such as describing classical music as anything that "lasts a long time," a statement made rather moot when one considers contemporary composers who are described as classical; or music that has certain instruments like violins, which are also found in other genres. However, there are characteristics that classical music contains that few or no other genres of music contain.