After 500 years of Western Art music I think we need a new name for this stuff. Clearly we have carved out names for each style specifically: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque. Classical, Romantic, Post-Romantic, Modernist, Neo-Classical, Neo-Romantic, Serial, 12-tone, Minimalist.... Post-neo-minimal-Modernist.
While it is not really important to narrow it down to one pigeon hole, it is interesting that we cling to the narrow appellation of Classical Music, considering that it relegates this entire genre to music created between 1750 and 1820, if you want to get academic about it.
As Chamber Music America has welcomed Zorn & Jazz into its hallowed halls since 2000, where do we put improvised, highly chromatic music of the Hard-Bop, Post-Bop, Free Improv, Afro-beat, AACM, AEC, Steve Lacy, Dave Douglas, Django Bates, Sun Ra, or any other artist who defies category?
We live in challenging times. The question is:
Are we creative or reactive?