1. Beethoven_Mähler_1815Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata:

    One of Beethoven’s most notable pieces, Beethoven wrote this song during the summer months of 1801 while staying on an estate in Hungary. He dedicated it to his student/love interest, 17-year-old Countess Giulietta Gucciardi (Beethoven was 31). The song didn’t receive its name until 30 years later, and was named by poet Ludwig Rellstab.

  2. Beethoven’s Fur Elise:

    Translated to “For Elise” from the German, it is still a bit of a mystery as to who Elise was. Some say that Elise was interpreted incorrectly and actually was “Therese,” as in, Therese Malfatti. Malfatti was a student to whom Beethoven apparently proposed in 1810. Seems like Beethoven had a propensity to falling for his students….

  3. Momozartzart’s Rondo Alla Turca:

    This piece is part of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11. Meaning “Turkish March,” it is from the late 1700s and is believed to be the earliest form of a military march. This piece didn’t resemble Mozart’s usual work, which is why it stands out as one of his greatest. The piece was also written to be performed by orchestra, with large percussion instruments, as well as for the piano.

  4. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony:

    Beethoven was already nearly 100 percent deaf when he composed this piece, so sadly, when he premiered the song, he didn’t hear a note of his own performance. Since he could not hear, his orchestration was not synchronized. The audience, however, loved it, and a member of the orchestra had to turn Beethoven around to show him the crowd’s excitement.

  5. Bach’s Goldberg Variations:

    Bach created this piece in 1741, and it has remained a popular inspiration to many composers and musicians since then. Story has it that 30 different variations were created solely for Count Keyserlingk to help treat his insomnia. The piece was originally composed for the two-manual harpsichord, but has since been made popular on piano.

  6. Dmitri Shostakovich’sDmitri Shostakovich credit Deutsche Fotothek adjusted Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 2:

    A very up-tempo piece written in 1938, this was originally written for Shostakovich’s son’s birthday and was to be performed at his graduation ceremony.

  7. Debussy’s Clair de Lune:

    Translated to “Light of the Moon,” this composition was inspired by a poem from Verlaine of the same title. The piece was originally titled “Promenade Sentimentale.” Debussy took 15 years to finish the piece, starting in 1890 and finishing in 1905. No wonder he originally called it a “sentimental walk.”

  8. Schumann’s Arabeske:

    Composed in 1839, Schumann dedicated this to his love, Clara Wieck. Clara’s father, however, wasn’t much into the composer, and was somehow able to force Schumann to leave the city. Schumann had to leave her with some sort of memory, so he wrote this song filled with his undying love for her.

  9. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue:George Gershwin-signed

    The piece was composed in 1924 and was very different for its time period. The work combined a classical element with jazz, which had never been heard before, and it made Gershwin famous.

  1. Billy Joel’s Piano Man:

    Released in 1973, the song tells Joel’s story of how he became known as the “piano man.” Joel used to work at the piano bar and play music for the locals. He claims every name mentioned in this song was inspired by some real person who used to come to his shows before he was famous.


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