7 Most Famous Classical Music Pieces

Many people say they don’t know anything about classical music or don’t enjoy it, but they also do not realize how often classical music is used in their everyday lives. Whether you realize it or not, when you watch a movie, see a commercial, or are walking around a public space, it’s likely that classical music is playing at some point. Nearly everyone recognizes some iconic classical music pieces that are continuously used in new forms of media, showing they never go out of style.

“Nutcracker Suite” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

This song is so well known because it’s used in the the ballet The Nutcracker and often featured in Christmas movies or commercials. The song was used in Disney’s Fantasia and remains one of the most well-known classical songs ever.

“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This incredible piece lasts a total of around 15 minutes and has four movements. Mozart apparently wrote this piece when he was sick and had been commissioned to write “happy music.” The piece wasn’t released publicly until long after his death.

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg

This song was originally written for the Norwegian play, Peer Gynt. It has since become a classic and is used frequently in movies to show disorder (one example is in The Social Network).

“Love Theme” from Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

“Love Theme” has been used time and time again in nearly every movie that deals with love. An interesting fact is that the flutes and horns that play throughout the song are actually supposed to symbolize Juliet and Romeo.

“Canon in D major” by Johann Pachelbel

A truly impressive (and challenging) song to play on the organ, “Canon in D major” is a delight to listen to. This song is also known as “Pachelbel’s Canon.” This piece of classical music wasn’t published until many years after Pachelbel’s death.

“Ride of the Valkyries” by Richard Wagner

Used in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, “Ride of the Valkyries” is a widely known classical piece. It took Wagner about 26 years to write this piece and it’s only part of a four section opera. It’s a favorite of professional orchestras for performing even today.

“Symphony #9” by Ludwig van Beethoven

More commonly known as “Ode to Joy” (originally a poem), this Beethoven song is one of the first children will learn to play on piano, though they only learn a small, simplified version of it. This symphony has remained popular throughout the years and likely will for a long time to come.