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Understanding Classical Music’s Influence on the West

Many of the Founding Fathers were fans of classical music.

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Many people today still enjoy the works of the classical composers – like Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. How did classical music shape Western civilization and the United States of America?

The Classical Period (1730 to 1820)

From around 1730 to 1820, European composers looked back to the romance of ancient Rome and ancient Greece. The thought the ancient era was a “golden age” for humanity, and they gained inspiration from it.

Music entered the Classical period, which was lighter and simpler than the Baroque period that came before.

Founding Fathers’ Views on Classical Music

Many of the Founding Fathers were trained musicians or had a love for classical music. Thomas Jefferson was a successful violinist. He had 6,500 volumes of sheet music that were later sold to the government to start the Library of Congress. In his later years, Jefferson spent his time talking about music, collecting music, and playing his favorite composers.

It’s said that Jefferson met with Mozart in Paris, France. The third U.S. president loved Mozart’s work, especially the violin and cello pieces. But Jefferson didn’t like Mozart as a person. He called the Austrian composer “uncouth and frivolous.”

Benjamin Franklin met privately with Mozart during his visit to Paris. Mozart even wrote a piece for the glass harmonica, a musical instrument invented by Franklin.

Does Classical Music Still Influence Today?

Is classical music still popular today? A recent study found that classical music ranks last out of the 12 genres. Classical ranked behind hip-hop, pop, country, and children’s music. It has been rough for classical music to survive in today’s world. But is classical dead?

Online videos of classical music still get thousands and even millions of views. So, there is still interest among the crowd – old and young alike.

Economics Correspondent at and Andrew has written extensively on economics, business, and political subjects for the last decade. He also writes about economics at Economic Collapse News and commodities at He is the author of “The War on Cash.” You can learn more at

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