In term “Light Music” has been used in Europe for many years, although American audiences may have referred to the same music variously as “Mood Music”, “Beautiful Music”, or “Pop Instrumental”.
Occasionally known as mood music or concert music, light music is often grouped with the easy listening genre. Light music was popular in the United Kingdom, the United States and in continental Europe, and many compositions in the genre are still familiar through their use as film, radio and television themes.
Before Late Romantic orchestral trends of length and scope separated the trajectory of lighter orchestral works from the Western Classical canon, classical composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Joseph Haydn won as much fame for writing lighter pieces such as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as for their symphonies and operas. Later examples of early European light music include the operettas of composers such as Franz von Suppé or Sir Arthur Sullivan; the Continental salon and parlour music genres; and the waltzes and marches of Johann Strauss II and his family.The Straussian waltz became a common light music composition (note for example Charles Ancliffe‘s “Nights of Gladness” or Felix Godin‘s “Valse Septembre”. These influenced the foundation of a “lighter” tradition of classical music in the 19th and early 20th centuries.