Classical music is classical music (both sacred and profane) made or having roots in the context of Western culture. It covers a period between the eleventh and twentieth century; includes, in particular, the period characterized by the development and use of tonal harmony prevailing, codified in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. In more specialized contexts the term "classical music" can also be reported in a more restrictive sense, the period musical Classicism said, but in common parlance the term is understood in its widest sense (as opposed to pop music or popular music) .
The boundaries of the category are blurred and debatable, since the mark of classicism is typically assigned by posterity; So, what is today called "classic" was not necessarily at the time when it was composed. In particular, according to the contexts the concept of "classical music" can include or not the contemporary music. The indication of "classical music" in reference to European classical music appears at the beginning of the nineteenth century, in order to "canonize" the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Beethoven, through Mozart and Handel, as the era of ' gold music and the first references to such use, as reported in the Oxford Dictionary Inglese, date back to around 1836.
An important feature of European classical music is the abandonment of oral tradition and the introduction of a system of musical notation, developed gradually since the ninth century.  Over time improvisation and ornamentation extemporaneous or libitum, commonly used until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, have gradually lost space in the execution of the repertoire written, in which the will of the composer, moved to the notation is interpreted within the limits of the composition, no longer grant room for arbitrary changes of music by performers