I have read some arcicles about the difference between 'classic' and 'classical'. I understand that 'classical' things are much older than 'classic' things, and relate to qualified cultures.

To make the understanding clearer, I'd like to know whether 'classical' can be used only for sophisticated traditional cultures such as music, literature, art and scientific and philosophical theories (e.g. classical physics, classical economics).

Is there any example of more ordinary thing which can be classical?

  • 1
    That's right. However, classic is not the same thing: a classic joke, a classic attitude etc.
    – Lambie
    Nov 16 at 14:44
  • 2
    A good dictionary should explain when classical is commonly used (and when classic is used), although it won't cover every case. Classical things are generally older than their opposites, but there isn't a fixed cut-off (classical genetics is a scientific approach opposed to molecular genetics, and contemporary classical music is inspired by old things rather than being old- but isn't popular music). What specific answer are you looking for? What do you mean "more ordinary thing"?
    – Stuart F
    Nov 16 at 14:52
  • Classical music is the musical side of a broader movement in the arts in Europe: Classicism. Classical art drew on some aspects of the art of Ancient Greece and Rome. In particular, classical music is characterised by simple textures of melody and accompaniment. It is not classical by virtue of being old. "Classical music" in the over-extended sense of "not any of the pop or folk genres" is better termed "art music".
    – Rosie F
    Nov 16 at 15:19
  • 2
    'Classical' is ill-defined (perhaps disambiguated by capitalisation) in the music domain. From Wikipedia: 'The Classical period was an era of classical music between roughly 1730 and 1820. The Classical period falls between the Baroque and the Romantic periods.' Nov 16 at 17:03
  • I would go so far as to say that "classical," "Classical," and "classic" are so frequently abused and interchanged (not to mention fraught with problematic ideologies) that I would avoid them in general and prefer more direct descriptions. Nov 16 at 18:26

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