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Classical Music 1/46

In the playlist below you will find music tracks from our music catalogue for royalty-free Production Music or Stock Music with the keyword "classical music", which can be licensed directly online via the Proud Music Library as background music for commercials, ads on TV, In-Stream-ads or movie and radio spots. It is also possible to download mp3 files in reduced quality for free to present them internally. Use is only permitted after the purchase of a license. If you have any questions regarding licensing, please contact us by phone at ++49 (0)6132 43 088 30 or by email at

The songs on this page may NOT be used without a license. Please purchase a license according to the intended use! Thank you very much!


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668 tracks, not registered with a PRO
469 tracks, registered with a PRO

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A beautiful, flowing introduction leads us into a magical fantasy. Sweet and tender, this is the first of Debussy's 'Deux Arabesques'. Written in E major and played at a slow tempo it gives a regal, emotional tone. Widely used in popular culture such as in TV themes and advertising. It has also been sampled by Alicia Keys and used in the video game 'Final Fantasy V'.

One of the most famous pieces of music for solo piano. Despite having the instruction, 'Lent et douloureux', (slow and painfully), this track is referred to for calm, relaxing and meditative purposes. Atmospheric and ambient.

The most famous of Liszt's Liebestraums. A popular melody which flows along with grace and elegance. Widely used in advertising, films and TV, this loving and emotional piece is perfect for giving an emotional and intense sensitivity to all projects and productions.

A fast, dramatic and energetic end to the famous Moonlight Sonata. The third movement moves along at a great pace, (presto agitato - which means fast, in a hurry and agitated). The pianist gives a fantastic rendition of this high tempo work. The Piano Sonata No. 14 op. 27 no. 2 in C sharp minor by Ludwig van Beethoven, completed in 1801, is also known as the Moonlight Sonata. Beethoven himself gave his work the nickname Sonata quasi una Fantasia ("... quasi a fantasy"). The term "Fantasia" refers to the unusual sequence of movements of the sonata. This explains the untypical tempos of the respective movements for the conventional sonata form. The work does not have a first (fast) movement in sonata form, which sonatas of this period usually contain. It begins with an Adagio, followed by a more lively Allegretto with Trio, followed by a fast, highly dramatic Finale, which has the structure of a sonata-form. What is striking here is that the tempo increases from movement to movement. Franz Liszt characterized the piece by describing the second movement as "a flower between two abysses".

The piece is based on a theme from the last movement of the 2nd Violin Concerto in B minor by violinist Niccolò Paganini, a rondo in which the harmonies are supported by the ringing of a hand bell. Liszt had already used the theme for piano in his Variations Grande Fantaisie de Bravoure sur 'La Clochette' de Paganini in B minor. He then reworked the piece in the third etude of the 12 Études d'exécution transcendante in A flat minor. The final version of the Grandes Etudes de Paganin is written in G sharp minor. It is now the most popular and frequently played version. The etude is played at Allegretto and is basically a sequence of different finger exercises for the right hand. At the beginning there are huge staccato jumps of the right hand for which the piece is notorious. This is followed by exercises for the tension of the right hand , octave finger change exercises, trills, runs with almost exclusive participation of the weaker fingers, ascending sequences of fourth sex chords and finally chromatic octave runs. Since the difficulties are limited to the right hand, the piece is not as difficult for large, trained hands as it is commonly portrayed.

Instantly recognisable, this beautiful work by Debussy is calm and soothing yet is intensely emotional in places. French for 'moonlight', this track is relaxing, reflective and simply delightful.

8. Freedom 06:25

A grand, epic, romantic piece of orchestral / symphonic film score music. Wide open fields, home lands, personal stories, adventure and epic tales. The piece plays for six and a half minutes and can be used for several different cues, or together as a whole. This track is recorded with a live philharmonic orchestra.

Slow, ('Lent' in French), and free-flowing, this track evokes an almost daydream like state. This is the first of three works to be given the name Gnossienne name by Erik Satie to reflect this new style of composition.

An advanced tremolo technique is required to perform this complex and well known guitar piece. 'Memories of the Alhambra', transports you to a different place and has been used in productions such as the film, 'The Killing Fields', the American TV show, 'The Sopranos' and the British TV show, 'Out of Town'.

668 tracks, not registered with a PRO
469 tracks, registered with a PRO
 1             >] of 46

Classical music is the skilled music produced by, or rooted in, Western ecclesiastical and secular music traditions, roughly from the Middle Ages to the present day. The core rules of this tradition were established in the period 1550-1900. The majority of the compositions are notated in one way or another. More strictly, classical music is understood to mean the music from the period of classicism, ca. 1730-1820. The term classical music is used as a synonym for art music or serious music, as a counterpart to popular music (light music) and folk music. In terms of a qualitative classification, the term is no longer used today. Classical music is not only meant to be 'serious', but has many forms of consumer music: for music education, entertainment, dance and musical theatre. In addition, music tradition and modern musical forms, in particular jazz and electronic music, influence each other and produce a large number of hybrid forms that can no longer be fitted into the classical-popular scheme. Non-western musical cultures are also referred to as classical music, in order to distinguish the older traditions from modern popular music, as in Indian culture (Indian classical music) and China (Chinese classical music).

History of classical music

The history of classical music is divided into a number of periods.


The current scale used in Western music, consisting of 12 tones, has developed in general historically from 3 tones around 1 tone, to 5 tones (the pentatonic), then to 7 tones (the diatonic) and finally to 12 tones (chromatic). The history of Western music begins with a diatonic from the (middle)-east and around ancient Greece.

No scores of Ancient Greek music have been preserved, although reconstructions can be made on the basis of surviving descriptions. An important composer, of whom some hymns have been preserved, is Mesomedes of Crete (first century AD). Much less of Roman music has been preserved: only one phrase, reconstructed in the Renaissance from a play by Terentius.

The most important influence that Antiquity had on the development of classical music is of a music-theoretical nature. Pythagoras constructed his diatonic scale with pure pure fifths. Aristoxenos was the first music theorist to distinguish between different scales.

Early Middle Ages (500-1000)

In the early Middle Ages, the development of classical music was linked to the development of church music. The melodies sung in the church came mainly from Asia. These melodies underwent a change: they were stripped of their decorations, so that only the most important tones remained. These chants were collected and codified from the 6th century onwards by order of Pope Gregory the Great (Pope from 590 to 604). Since then, this collection has been known as Gregorian music: all unison songs.

Middle Ages (1000-1450)

The most important innovation in the Middle Ages is polyphony, the polyphony. Since in polyphony the third is the most important interval, a new scale had to be constructed, based on the consonance of thirds. A system of musical notation was also gradually developed, in which the note was scored as a point (Latin: punctus) on a bar with lines. In polyphonic music, several notes sound simultaneously, note to note (Latin: punctus contra punctus); with the counterpoint, the profession of composer was also born.

The following styles can be distinguished: Organum (11th century), Ars antiqua (ca 1100-1300), Ars nova (ca 1300-1450), Trecento (Italian music from the 14th century) and Ars subtilior (ca 1425-1450).

Renaissance (1450-1600)

The musical developments in the Renaissance can be summarised as follows: changes in the notation system (more 'open', white notation than black); in addition to religious, more and more profane and instrumental music; stricter rules regarding consonance and dissonance; more attention for the relationship between text and music; international distribution of the polyphonic repertoire, among other things due to the rise and success of the music print. In the Renaissance it was mainly the composers from the Low Countries (Belgium and Northern France) who were responsible for these innovations. Important names - out of more than a hundred that can be quoted - are Guillaume Dufay, Johannes Ockeghem, Pierre de la Rue, Jacob Obrecht, Nicolas Gombert, Clemens non Papa, Adriaan Willaert, Orlandus Lassus (Roland de Lassus, Orlando di Lasso), Josquin des Prez and Philippus de Monte. The last great Renaissance composer was the Roman Palestrina (1525-1594).

Baroque (1600-1750)

Around 1600 the style of the composed music changed in less than five years time. The monody with its system of basso continuo, and the harmony are introduced, and so are the cadenzas. In this period most modern musical instruments are developed: the bowed instruments (albeit with a shorter bow) and the wind instruments (albeit without the modern valve system). Until the Baroque era, the most important developments were always linked to a predominantly vocal performance practice. From the Baroque period, instrumental music took over this leading role.

The baroque period in music is generally considered to end with the death of Bach in 1750.

Classicism (1750-1820)

Classical music takes its name from the period of classicism. In music history, however, it is very short, and consists mainly of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven (First Viennese School).

One of the most important innovations, originally from the so-called Mannheimer Schule, is the integral use of signs to note the dynamics (such as p for soft and f for strong, loud). Furthermore, the music remains mainly tonal, but undergoes a major change: the counterpoint is gradually being replaced by harmony and the pianoforte is making a strong advance, paving the way for the piano's triumphal march.

In the period of classicism, new forms emerge: the sonata form, the symphony; and new formations: the string quartet and the (then still small) symphony orchestra.

Romanticism (1815-1910)

In the romantic period of classical music, composers make ever larger compositions with ever more notes, more difficult rhythms and ever more complex harmonic developments. They use many and strange musical instruments that have not been used before. A lot of drama and emotion can be heard. It's all about what people feel, fantasy and nature.

The tendency of musical developments in the 19th century came from the idea of progress in the Enlightenment, and led to ever larger works, larger orchestras, more virtuoso playing techniques on improved musical instruments and ever more complex harmonic developments.

Classical music from the 20th century, the European classical music from after 1900 has a wide variation, starting with the late romantic style of Sergei Rachmaninov, the impressionism of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and continued by Béla Bartók and the Neoclassicism of Igor Stravinsky to the opposite serialism of Pierre Boulez, the minimalist music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, the musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer, the microtonal music of Harry Partch and the aleatory music of John Cage, the electronic music of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The general similarity of all these different genres is the increasing use of dissonance in the composition. For this reason, the 20th century is sometimes called the dissonant period.

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