5 Most Popular Classical Piano Pieces
Used in Media Projects
Have you ever wondered about the most popular classical piano pieces used in modern media projects? Without a doubt, music offers the perfect finishing touch for many different projects, be it films, documentaries, games, and the like.
As such, getting your choice of music right is so important for the success of your project. Luckily, our friendly experts are on hand today to help you find out a little more about the most popular classical piano pieces used in media projects. Plus, we’ll briefly consider why so many filmmakers, game devs, and producers opt for safe, famous classical pieces to help finalize their projects. Why leave this to chance – you might just find that the following five classical piano pieces fit your project perfectly, too!
Royalty Free Classical Piano Music
Did you know that classical piano pieces offer numerous benefits for a media project? Whether it’s a game, film, documentary, or more, many people use classical music to help add a certain finishing touch to their scenes. After all, few things are duller than listening to a video with no music to accompany the words! However, not all classical pieces are quite as popular as others – and some of the most commonly used classical piano pieces include the following five.
#1 Moonlight Sonata – Ludwig van Beethoven
Without a doubt, one of the most widely used classical music pieces for media projects is the Moonlight Sonata (Piano Sonata No.14) by Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven’s name has become something of a legend, and for a good reason; after all, his excellent music pieces have undeniably transformed the world of classical music. This has helped establish him as one of the most widely-admired and praised classical composers. Interestingly, though, Beethoven actually began to develop deafness in his later years, undeniably hindering his ability to write new classical music.
There’s a certain mystery and mystique to the Moonlight Sonata, which undeniably makes it an exceptionally easy piano piece to include in modern media projects. The Moonlight Sonata is often included as background music for cutscenes, especially for fantasy games.
Some of the most well-known titles that use Moonlight Sonata in their official launch include the movies The Pianist, Immortal Beloved. The games Resident Evil and Saints Row.
#2 Fur Elise – Ludwig van Beethoven
There’s no doubt that Ludwig van Beethoven was an exceptionally talented composer, and this is firmly cemented by the fact that his works would be recognized so many years after his death. Along with the Moonlight Sonata, his piece from 1810, Fur Elise, has become one of the most widely-loved piano pieces in the world. In fact, it’s often one of the earliest complex pieces that piano learners master, though playing the piece in its entirety is considered moderately difficult.
The piece’s upbeat tone lends itself easily to numerous different applications, making it an excellent addition to many games from a storytelling perspective. From a media perspective, the Fur Elise piece is commonly used for projects requiring a complex music to accompany a bright, bold, and exciting love story. Still, while the original Fur Elise is a fast-paced piece, it can also be included at a slightly slower tempo for applications where the mood isn’t quite so jovial or energized.
Some of the main titles and media publications that added the Fur Elise piece in their final releases include the games Return to Castle Wolvenstein, Zumba Kids and the movies The Gentleman and Rosemary’s Baby.
#3 Clair de Lune – Debussy
Another amazing piece that’s widely included in modern media, despite its age, is the Clair de Lune, which the exceptionally talented Calude Debussy created. Debussy was a French composer who was often considered the very first impressionist composer, focusing more on specific thoughts and emotions. However, Debussy always rejected this categorization of his work and style.
Interestingly, Clair de Lune – which has become one of his most beloved pieces from a media perspective – was actually something of a transitional work. This beloved classical piano piece was released in 1890 and marked the gradual change towards a more mature style of music, but it has nevertheless remained one of his best-known works for its wonderfully emotive style.
It’s often hard to pinpoint exactly which emotions the Clair de Lune piece evokes, making it highly versatile for numerous projects. It can easily be paired with sad, neutral, and sometimes even dark themes, making it a true masterpiece for media in its own right.
Some of the different media releases masterfully incorporating this wonderful piece include the movies Godzilla, Twilight Saga and The purge. In games like Gran Turismo series, Forza Horizon.
#4 Gymnopédie No. 1 – Erik Satie
Eric Alfred Leslie Satie (Erik Satie) is widely considered one of the most influential music composers of the late 19th and early 20th century, guiding many other composers in an effort to move away from impressionist styles established during the era of post-Wagnerian impressionism. His work finds a delicate balance between minimalist styles and evocative imagery, making it powerful enough to use in many different media releases without being so specific as to lose its relevance.
Gymnopédie No. 1 is undeniably a dark and mysterious piece, and this has ensured it lends itself easily to many amazing media pieces in the modern day. It’s widely included for melancholy, quiet, or dull themes. Some of the most loved releases that have added the Lere Gymopedie to their soundtracks include the games Final Fantasy, Mother 3. The movies My Dinner with Andre and Mr. Nobody.
#5 The Swan – Saint Saens
Saint Saens was a French composer who died in the early part of the 20th century, leaving behind a collection of piano pieces that the world would undeniably fall in love with for their beauty, charm, and magic. He was considered a musical prodigy from a very young age and originally entered the music scene as a church organist before eventually becoming a freelance pianist and composer.
During his career, he worked on numerous projects across Europe and the Americas, with his style being highly sought after among artists at the time. His focus on progressive modern music at the time, would help distinguish him from many other composers of the mid 19th and early 20th century.
One of his most well-known pieces in the modern world has always been the Swan, which fittingly includes a delicate, graceful, and refined charm about it – while simultaneously offering a slight touch of cheek and playfulness. It’s an exceptionally clever inclusion of seemingly very different themes, and this has absolutely made “The Swan” an insightful piece that’s easy to include in many different playful or puzzle-based games. It’s also used relatively often for cutscenes with a loving, fun, or low-stress nature.
Some of the best-known media works that include The Swan in their final, public releases are The Simpsons, Electric Swan and The Zookeeper’s wife. Tons of games.
Creating a film, documentary, game, or video comes with numerous challenges. Not only can it often feel hard to balance the books, but there’s so much to think about in terms of quality, too. With this thought in mind, it’s perhaps not a surprise that so many developers, producers, and directors use, or at least take inspiration from, some of the most well-known and beloved classical piano pieces.
This simple trick can help provide the media with immediate familiarity, helping audiences connect with the content. However, there’s a catch: it’s only any good if the piece genuinely complements the tone of the content in the first place. So, if you’re planning your own media project, only use royalty-free piano pieces if you’re confident they can genuinely add value to the sound.