There are a lot of pieces of classical music that seem to be used over and over as background music, so I made a flowchart to keep track of them. It’s best viewed on a full-size computer screen; on small screens the links might not line up correctly. For a hi-res pdf, click here.
Cliché or not, these are beautiful pieces of music, and I hope you get the chance to enjoy the full works, and not just the overused snippets. Happy listening!
11 thoughts on “Choose Your Own Cliché Classical Music”
Very cool use of flow chart in a lot of ways — all the details are right.
Thanks, Katy—it’s a fun medium!
How about: Purcell Funeral Music for Queen Mary
Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain
Beethoven Symphony No.2, Allegretto (bonus points if there’s a voice-over in the beginning)
Chopin Prelude in E minor, Op.28 no.4 (bonus points if weeping)
BTW, Flight of the Bumblebee is by Rimsky-Korsakov, not Rachmaninoff. Although my go-to music for comically sped up is Yakety Sax by Boots Randolph.
Somehow my witty descriptions were omitted. Trying again:
How about: (Prolonged closeup on the eyes) Purcell Funeral Music for Queen Mary
(Invasion) Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain
(Determinedly, methodically writing a fateful letter) Beethoven Symphony No.2, Allegretto (bonus points if there’s a voice-over in the beginning)
(Fatalistically, sadly writing a fateful letter) Chopin Prelude in E minor, Op.28 no.4 (bonus points if weeping)
Thanks for the correction (it should be fixed now) and the suggestions! I’m keeping a list for future versions.
A couple of evenings watching PBS Masterpiece should provide an ample supply.
In the movies, every church always has a full choir present singing Allegri’s “Miserere” as well.
Is there an underlying map of human emotions? And should it be discrete or continuous?
So much fun! my favorite part is the way you did the arrow to In the Hall of the Mountain King. Thinking the kids and I will be listening to this piece today and letting their imaginations run wild 🙂
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Thanks, it was fun to make! I hope you had a good time. 🙂
Does anyone have a suggestion for a circumstance warranting Dvorak’s Symphony #9 in E-minor, the New World Symphony?
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That’s a symphony I love! I feel like it would work nicely for the team of super-special astronauts when they arrive on a new planet. (I do kind of love the ocean-between-continents / space-between-planets metaphor.)