My first thought was, "Indian classical music?". My second thought was, "of course - every culture has it's own 'classic' music - especially India". From that moment forward I stopped using the phrase "classical" music in reference to the instrumental music from western Europe, but rather any sort of music in a classic style. That idea went on to inspire the way I program "classical" music on my radio show - music from east Asia, the Middle East, the bayou of Louisiana, and anywhere else can rightfully be called "classical", if it's in a classic style. Nina Simone even famously said this:
Another student said that for her, "classical" music is defined by Bob Marley. She was wearing locs, so that was easy for me to understand, and the way she talked about other artists who have been inspired by Marley made it clear to me that she knew exactly what she was talking about.
Classical music radio (in it's more traditional sense) has embraced these ideas, but in a pretty specific way. It's ok to explore music for erhu on classical radio, or maybe a concerto for electric guitar, but it seems like black music gets left out often times. If Schubert lieder is "classical" music, (music for voice and piano), why can't this song by Nicki Minaj be the same? If we embrace the instrumental music inspired by English folk songs, we should also embrace the instrumental music inspired by pop songs too, right?
It probably seems like I'm trolling right now, but I'm all about dismantling traditions and institutions, and breaking down the definition of "classical" music is something I'm going to always work toward. If it's music performed in any sort of classic style, I'm going to call it "classical" music.
I'm going to make it a personal goal of mine to get this piece of CLASSICAL music on my show: