5 Classic Pieces of Classical Music Everyone Should Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

There are certain pieces of classical music that are so well-known and loved that they have become part of our cultural fabric. If you’re not familiar with them, here are five classics everyone should know.


Classical music is a timeless genre that has been enjoyed by people for centuries. It is still as popular today as it was years ago, and there are many different pieces of classical music that are known and loved by people all over the world. If you’re looking to get started with classical music, or if you want to explore some of the most famous and beloved pieces of this genre, here are five classic pieces of classical music everyone should know.

Johann Sebastian Bach – “Air on the G String”

Often referred to as “the fifthBrandenburg Concerto,” Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068, is one of his most famous and recognizable works. The second of the four movements, Air on the G String, is by far the most popular and well-known. It was reportedly composed for an upper register string instrument (possibly a violin or viola) and was later arranged for orchestra by August Wilhelmj.

The gorgeous melody of Air on the G String has made it a favorite of classical music lovers for centuries and its popularity shows no signs of waning. It has been used in countless movies and TV shows over the years, including The Job, The Nanny Diaries, Waking Life, and The Simpsons.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” is one of the most popular and well-known pieces of classical music ever written. The work, which translates to “a little night music,” is actually a serenade for an orchestra, composed in 1787. It is one of Mozart’s most performed pieces, and has been featured in countless movies and television shows.

Ludwig van Beethoven – “Für Elise”

Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Für Elise” is one of the most famous pieces of classical music ever written. The melodic opening of the piece is instantly recognizable, and the rest of the work is just as lovely. “Für Elise” was written in 1810, but wasn’t published until 1867, long after Beethoven’s death. It’s thought that the piece was written for Therese Malfatti, one of Beethoven’s students.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – ” Swan Lake”

One of the most popular pieces of classical music, Swan Lake was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1876. Inspired by a German legend, the ballet tells the story of a princess who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. The ballet is noted for its beautiful melodies, emotional scenes, and impressive dance sequences. While Swan Lake is often associated with ballet, the music has been adapted for use in other genres including ice skating shows and movies.


As you can see, there are many different types of classical music out there, and each one has something special to offer. Whether you’re a fan of the energetic pace of symphonies or the emotions conveyed through solo piano pieces, there’s a style of classical music that’s sure to appeal to you. So dive in and start exploring today!

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