Tomorrow is October! Wow, that came quick!
Planning a Halloween get-together? Looking for musical inspiration? Look no further!
The Perfect Soundtrack
Music is key to a great soiree - let's take a look at the top 10 song selections to use for your Halloween bash!
1. The Sorcerers Apprentice
Of course this is a staple! Anyone who has seen Fantasia! loves imagining the broomsticks coming to life with a little Disney magic! Originally inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1797 poem, Paul Dukas composed this work in 1896.
2. Night on the Bare Mountain
Composed in 1867 by Modest Mussorgsky, this infamous work weaves the Russian legend of a witches' sabbath on a barren landscape.
3. In the Hall of the Mountain King
Another Fantasia! favorite, Edvard Grieg composed the music to Peer Gynt in 1897. This piece is taken from the 5th and final act of the play, when the Troll King tells Peer Gynt that he himself has been a troll all his life. Cheery!
4. Ride of the Valkyries
Probably the most famous tune written by Wagner (not counting the Bridal March), the Ride of the Valkyries is taken from his Ring Cycle. The Valkyries are warrior maidens raised by the Norse god Odin, and this music details their ride back from battle before they gather on a mountaintop.
5. Dies Irae theme from Symphonie Fantastique
Written in 1830 by Hector Berlioz, this Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) theme is taken from the 5th movement of the Symphony. You'll likely recognize it from its use as the theme from Stanley Kubricks The Shining.
6. Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Easily one of the most famous works of all time, it was composed in 1716 and was used as film music even before the sound film era, becoming a cliché to illustrate horror. This composition by Bach first appears on film in 1931 for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and later the 1962 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera.
7. Funeral March of a Marionette
While the name might suggest whimsy and playfulness, this short work by Charles Gounod was composed in 1872 and is best known as the theme from Alfred Hitchcock Presents between 1955-1965.
8. Chopin's Funeral March
Speaking of Funeral Marches, this famous work was published in 1840 as the third movement of Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2. It was played graveside during Chopin's own burial 9 years later, and was also performed at the state funerals of John F. Kennedy, Sir Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher.
9. The Skeleton Rag
Published in 1911, this is one of the more upbeat works on this list. Percy Wenrich was 31 years old and living in New York when he wrote this Rag. Little is known about this piece, although it may have been written for the up and coming vaudeville performer Dolly Connolly to perform.
10. Danse Macabre
Translated the Dance of Death, Camille Saint-Saëns wrote this piece in 1874. This work is based on a legend that says Death appears every Halloween at midnight and calls the dead from their graves to dance for him. Death plays the fiddle and the skeletons dance until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.
Well there you have it! 10 of the most infamous Halloween themed compositions of all time for your spooky gathering!
Christie Becker is a professional violinist and owner of Christie Becker Violin, where she specializes in setting the tone for her client's perfect memories. For more information, or to work with Christie on your unique event, visit:
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