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Classical Music In Cartoons, Movies, Commercials

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Classical Music In Cartoons, Movies, Commercials

My father and I used to have an ongoing game when I was growing up. Every time a piece of classical music came on the radio, we would both try to guess (if we didn't already know) who the composer was, and what the name of the composition was. It occurs to me that very few children have enough experience with the 'classics' to play such a game; many don't even know who Beethoven or Bach were.

So here is a variation on the game my father and I used to play; it's a simple way of introducing a few of the 'classics' to children in a way that they will appreciate. Instead of guessing the composer or composition title, children will attempt to guess where they've heard the music. The goal, of course, is to inspire curiosity about and appreciation for classical music. Many children will be surprised to find themselves humming along with the classics.

The following is a list of compositions, and the place where children are likely to have heard them. There are many more that could be added to this list.

  • Organ Symphony #3 by Saint-Saens, heard in the movie Babe
  • Overture to the Barber of Seville by Rossini, heard in a Bugs Bunny cartoon
  • Sabre Dance by Aram Khatchaturian, heard in the 'Scrubbing Bubbles' commercials
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, heard in the movie 2001, and a Sesame Street takeoff on the movie
  • Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, heard in United Airlines commercial
  • Rodeo: HoeDown by Aaron Copland, heard in beef commercials
  • Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas, heard in Fantasia
  • Tannhäuser: Pilgrims Chorus and Die Walküre:
    Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner, heard in a Bugs Bunny cartoon
  • William Tell Overture by Rossini, heard in The Lone Ranger
Lesson by Mr. Twitchell

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