Art music

According to scholars Art music (or serious music) is an umbrella term generally used to refer to musical traditions implying advanced structural and theoretical considerations. It is used especially as a contrasting term to popular music and traditional music. Art music basically refers primarily to Western classical music.

The term is labelled as music for the European elite but one can argue if composers like Mozart and Chopin shared the same idea. Mozart's opera's gathered a large audience amongst the 'common folk' and Chopin is known for incorporating the Polish polka (which is in fact folk music) into his own compositions. To write Art music off as completely seperate and non influencial to pop is just as absurd as claiming that cheese can only be made in Holland.

At the start of the 20th century the difference became even less clear by composers of classical music that developed a strong interest in traditional song collecting, and a number of outstanding composers carried out their own field work on traditional song. These included Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams in England and Béla Bartók in Hungary. These composers, like many of their predecessors, incorporated traditional material into their classical compositions.

In the late 20th century, the distinction between popular and art music has been blurred even more when minimalist music and postmodern music in particular got closer to popular music and rejected older cleavages. Reversely, popular experimental musicians also developed a special interest in the minimalist and postmodern approach and so they have converged with art music with regard to certain aspects of their music.