Musician and blogger Stuart Simon of A Musician Rambling has a few trenchant observations and remarks regarding the classification of style in the domain of music.
When I was taking music history in high school, I remember a paperback textbook which explained that music happened in various "periods". And I remembered specifically that the "baroque" period ended when the "classical" period started. The "classical" period started in 1750. I was trying to imagine the scene. Here were all these people, partying, cheering, taking out those old Baroque dinosaurs and bringing in the new classical hot shots. I can imagine Handel applying for a "classical" musician's card and being denied. "Sorry, bud. Your time has come and gone. Have a nice retirement." But what about C.P.E. Bach? He crossed over, didn't he? He was much too young to retire in 1750. "All right, raise your right hand," the guy at the Classical Musician's Division said (he was even wearing a "classical division" uniform). "Now repeat after me. I, C.P.E. Bach, am going to write in the classical style from this day forward. If I backslide, I am aware of the penalty to be imposed upon me." But as he was reciting those words, C.P.E. Bach asked the official a question. "What exactly IS the classical style? I'm not sure what you mean by classical."RTWT here.