Light music is a generic term for a British musical style of “light” orchestral music, which originated in the 19th century. It reached its peak in the mid 20th century but continues until the present day.
The style is a less serious form of Western classical music, usually comprised of shorter orchestral pieces and suites designed to appeal to a wider audience than more serious compositions. The form emphasises melody and tonal harmonies.
Occasionally known as mood music or concert music, light music is often grouped with the easy listening genre, although this designation is misleading. Although mainly a British phenomenon, light music was also popular in the United States. Composers such as Leroy Anderson and George Gershwin could be considered American progenitors of light music.
We’ll hear light music from Great Britain on the next English Pastorale, Sunday at 9 am.