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Classical music is a broad term that usually refers to a traditional genre of music that is established within a culture (e.g. Chinese, Japanese and Western), and encompasses a broad variety of forms, styles, genres and historical periods. Classical music is often distinguished from popular music by the use of instrumentation and usually takes the form of solo instruments, small ensembles and orchestras.

Certain staples of Western classical music are often used commercially, for example in television commercials, several loud, bombastically rhythmic orchestral passages have become clichés, particularly the opening of Richard Strauss' “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (made famous in “2001: A Space Odyssey”) and the opening section "O Fortuna" of Carl Orff's “Carmina Burana”. Other examples in the same vein are the “Dies Irae” from the Verdi Requiem, Edvard Grieg's “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from “Peer Gynt”, the opening bars of Beethoven's “Symphony No. 5”, Wagner's “Ride of the Valkyries” from “Die Walküre”, and excerpts of Aaron Copland's "Rodeo".

Similarly, movies and television often revert to standard snatches of classical music to convey refinement or opulence: some of the most-often heard pieces in this category include Mozart's “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”, Vivaldi's “Four Seasons”, and Mussorgsky's "A Night on Bald Mountain".

This description is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses materials from the Wikipedia article "Classical music".

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