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Listening to classical music- where to start!? (Read 1501 times)

Offline mahmudfasihulazam

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Listening to classical music- where to start!?
« on: September 27, 2015, 11:38:23 AM »
This is probably a strange question to ask here but let me explain:

I have listened to classical music by looking for pieces of music played in Cartoons, TV shows, movies and such on the internet. For instance, I came across Liszt by looking for the Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 which I came across from an episode of Tom and Jerry.

Another example: I stumbled upon Bartok after listening to ELP's take on the Allegro Barbaro but I soon found out the Six Romanian Folk Dances and fell in love with them.

I would like to listen to classical music like it's music and not background for cartoons. Can anybody give me a list to start myself off the proper way?

Thank you.

P.S.: I can't get myself to like Mozart. A good list of his works would be great too. Thanks again.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Listening to classical music- where to start!?
«Reply #1 on: September 27, 2015, 04:04:11 PM »
This is a toughy and very much depends on your general preference. You've also got to think about music that you like for it being music and not just because you associate it with a cartoon or film because I think that alters your perception of a piece.

I also really got into the Hungarian Rhapsody as it was featured in a film called "Who framed Rodger Rabbit" a classic.

However when I first listened to that song on it's own (around 10 minutes was it?) there was so much of it I didn't recognise or appreciate that wasn't featured in the film.

Youtube is a wonderful source of classical music and a way to explore other music. If you like Liszt maybe you will like the romantic era, research romantic composers and then research their compositions. Furthermore Youtube regularly provides "Related music" so you can tend to just click on and find different pieces you've never heard before. You can also search for a list of compositions by composer within Google to see everything they composed, or simply type their name in youtube.

There's definitely no "proper" way or rules to this,  the more you listen too pieces you'll probably start to find a composer (or a small group of composers) you start to identify with and you can explore them in more detail, who their friends were, who inspired them, who they taught and you start to build up from there.

It is a strange question, but a good one nevertheless. Mozart composed a list of famous pieces, if we are referring strictly to the piano his most famous piece is probably Rondo All Turca or "Turkish March" featured in a film called The Truman Show.

It's worth noting that although Mozart was alive at similar times to Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt etc he composed quite a different style of music to them, and he composed for a lot of instruments not just the piano. I feel like it's similar as saying I like "The Beatles" but I'm not sure on "Metallica"

Great in their own way, alive at the same times, produced very different music.


"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Listening to classical music- where to start!?
«Reply #2 on: September 28, 2015, 08:15:05 AM »
You can always watch the movie "Amadeus" which is just terrific, one of my all-time-favourites. The storyline is not supposed to be totally true to reality, but it is very entertaining nevertheless. And the music, yes, that is Mozart!

The reason that many people are alienated to classical music is often the context: we tend to associate classical music with humourless occasions; stiff upperclass people who look at you with contempt, grave old men in tailcoats on stage, crazy soloists with primadonna manners who look like they want to kill you if you cough in the wrong moment ... things that are so easy to ridicule, to dislike. And all those violins and those loooooong long pieces with 10 endings before they finally, FINALLY find the ending chord. Sigh!

As a child, I was dragged by my parents to many classical concerts. I remember some Requiem in church. Mozart or Bach or whatever. Very big performance, three different choirs. Everyone dressed in black and white, like a funeral. We got this little white booklet with the lyrics. I thought they were to sing these lyrics, and then it would be the end to it, no big deal. Oh, no, they sang the same words over and over and over again, and it sounded like ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, huh-huh-huh-huh-huh, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha in my ears, and I realized that it would take them hours to finish just a simple Ha-le-he-he-he-he-he-luh-huh-huh-huh-huh-ja-aaa-aaaaaaa-ah-ah-ah-ah ....

 ::)


Later on I came to rock concerts. Everyone singing, screaming and dancing, extatic mood, pumping bass, sweat and heart and body and soul, yeah! So much more alive than those sleeping pills in the concert hall ... 

I mean, a concert like THIS:


Isn't this what music experiences should be like? Well ... then back to the classics. You listen to this and to that, some pieces are kind of neat, others are just boring, but one day you find yourself in tears because you listen to something that is touching something deep in your soul - and you start to feel that this is MUSIC.
You will find "your" music here, somewhere. Maybe not this one, but it is not a bad start:


Offline dogperson

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Re: Listening to classical music- where to start!?
«Reply #3 on: September 28, 2015, 10:01:54 AM »
I discovered Nodame Cantibile, a Japanese anime of many episodes, concerning a young girl in music school.  I confess I have watched all of the animated and much of the movie version.  The music is the star here, with Nodame and her boyfriend playing many great composers/works.  Some of this music will 'speak to you'

&index=2

Offline visitor

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Re: Listening to classical music- where to start!?
«Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 12:57:39 PM »
must listen to all Mahler symphonies. here is no 1. note, it is double edged sword, it may ruin some symphonies for your as after this , some of them simply seem inadequate

Offline irrational

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Re: Listening to classical music- where to start!?
«Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 03:14:10 PM »
I discovered Nodame Cantibile, a Japanese anime of many episodes, concerning a young girl in music school.  I confess I have watched all of the animated and much of the movie version.  The music is the star here, with Nodame and her boyfriend playing many great composers/works.  Some of this music will 'speak to you'

&index=2

I discovered this a few years ago, loving anime in general. This is my favourite anime. I have everything including the live action roleplay. I was going to suggest this if the person likes anime!

But that said.
I listen to a LOT of classical music and its a lifelong journey of discovery. What I listen to and enjoy changed with my knowledge and music appreciation. Of course on a day to day basis. Today is Chopin Day. Yesterday was Bach keyboard concertos. 8)

You can watch the movies or documentaries about composers (BBC Series). Many are on youtube.
Also specific pianist movies and do youtube hopping for specific artists on different instruments.
A great movie is "Horowitz, The Last Romantic" and "Richter, The Enigma".
Both Amadeus and Immortal Beloved have a wonderful selection of music for Mozart and Beethoven.

You can also try the "greatest hits" route and find what you prefer. Just the most well-known composers will already give you a wide spread of different music.
Go to the Naxos website (they have lots of greatest hits disks) and look at the track listings.

Some simple instrumental things I can quickly think of that I love myself and found very accessible:

Bach: Well Tempered Piano book 1, English Suites and Partitas.
Vivaldi Violin Concertos including "The four seasons"
Mozart:. Sonatas K310, K333. Variations K265, Piano concerto 21,23,24 symphony 41. Clarinet Concerto.
Beethoven: All the named sonatas, Op. 111 and Op.10 nr. 3. Piano Concerto 3-5, Symphony 3, 5, 6, 9. Egmont Overture.
Brahms: Hungarian Dances
Chopin: Impromptus, Ballades and Etudes
Dvorak: Symphony 7-9, Cello Concerto.
Schubert: Impromptus, klavierstucke nr.2, sonatas D.784, D.959, 960.
Liszt: So many many. Hungarian Rhapsodies. Consolations, Sonata in B minor, Totentanz, Un Sospiro, Schubert transcriptions,
Mendelssohn: Songs without Words, Symphony 3, 4.
Debussy: Claire de Lune, L'isle Joyeuse
Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit, Jeux D'eau, Piano Concerto G Major,
Saint-Saens: Piano concerto 2, 4
Rachmaninov: Preludes, Piano Concerto 2, 3
Prokofiev: Toccata op.11, Sonatas 2, 8. Visions Fugitives, Piano Concerto 3.
Rossini: Overtures.
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto 1, Violin concerto, Marche Slave, 1812 Overture.
Schumann: Piano Concerto, Kinderszenen
Grieg: Piano concerto, Peer Gynt.
Joplin Rags (Well sometimes...)

Just start listening and don't ignore instruments other than piano! 8)

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Listening to classical music- where to start!?
«Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 03:25:41 PM »


This is a list of all my favorites, if you would like to listen to it. It's 5 hours long so it should give you plenty of ideas. They're classics and many of the people here are probably tired of them, but if you haven't listened to any before, you've got to hear these!


BTW Pretty cool thumbnail huh ;D 8)
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline lhb_

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Re: Listening to classical music- where to start!?
«Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 11:51:58 PM »
I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this, but the Bach Cello Suites are also a must hear. It's what got me into classical music, so it may work for you likewise! I would also recommend learning a classical instrument in your free time, since you can also interact with the music on a personal level.