Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period. Western Music then started becoming more of an art form with the advances in music notation and more focus on secular themes that occurred in the Renaissance period. We then have expansions of range and complexity as we move into the Baroque era. The Classical era gives us the emotional power associated with such composers as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Romanticism then transforms the rigid styles and forms of the Classical era into more individualistic stylizations. Tonality was at its peak during this period, and then Impressionist music paved the way to the use of extreme dissonances in the music of the Modern era. This process continued into the current Contemporary period of music.

European music is largely distinguished from many other non-European and popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 16th century. Western staff notation is used by composers to prescribe to the performer the pitch, speed, meter, individual rhythms and exact execution of a piece of music. This leaves less room for practices such as improvisation and ad libitum ornamentation, that are frequently heard in non-European art music (compare Indian classical music and Japanese traditional music) and popular music. The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to "canonize" the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Beethoven as a golden age. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1836.

Western Music History can be traced back to medieval times, with the Introduction of Chanting (later termed Gregorian Chanting) into the Catholic Church services. Call it cowboy music or western music, make no mistake about it, this is not "Country" music. Western music helps chronicle a period in American history that faded away all too fast. Artists like Buck Howdy and Jon Chandler keep the Western Music tradition alive and kicking.