There’s nothing worse than humming a song and not knowing its name or origin. Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of classical music’s most famous melodies, complete with background information.

Mozart – A Little Night Music

The authority name of this piece is the Song No. 13 for strings in G major, and it was created by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1787. Mozart himself gave the piece its moniker, when he wrote this name down in the log book he continued to detail all the music he composed.

Numerous television shows and advertisements, in addition to Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Alien, Ace Ventura, and There’s Something About Mary, feature the music. It likewise highlighted unmistakably in the film Amadeus about the arranger himself.

Beethoven – For Elise 

This work was never published when Beethoven was alive, and it was only discovered forty years after his death.

Because of this, no one really knows who Elise was in the title; in fact, some musicologists even believe that the title may have been copied incorrectly and was originally titled “Für Therese.”

Yet, whoever the fortunate beneficiary of this piece was, we can all concur that it’s one of the most enchanting pieces for piano at any point composed.

There have been numerous reinterpretations of the piece, including a jazzy cover and a cubist version, due to its simple but catchy melody.

Puccini – “Oh my dear daddy” by Gianni Schicchi 

There may be uncontacted tribes in the Amazon who haven’t heard this piece, but this famous Puccini aria is probably well-known to most people.

It comes from his one-act opera Gianni Schicchi, which is about a family’s willingness to go to any lengths to ensure that they inherit money from an elderly relative. Young Lauretta sings “O mio babbino caro,” pleading with her father to let her marry Rinuccio, the man she loves, an unlikely source for a melody that has become famous as one of the most romantic songs ever written. Additionally, its fame has far exceeded that of the opera.

It appears on the soundtracks of A Room with a View, Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, Downton Abbey, and numerous other films.

J.S. Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor

This piece by Bach probably won’t have the catchiest title, yet we ensure you’ll know the popular opening.

Because it was famously featured in the opening credits of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), it has come to be associated with frightening scenes in horror films.

Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C Minor 

This Beethoven symphony opens with the “da da da duuum,” one of the four most well-known chords ever. This opening has been interpreted by some critics as the sound of fate knocking on the door.

The fact that this work has become so well-known that it is even featured in pop songs is without a shadow of a doubt proof that Beethoven intended for it to be that way.

Vivaldi – The Four Seasons

In reality, Antonio Vivaldi composed The Four Seasons, a collection of four violin concertos. Observe the chirping teeth in the winter, the dramatic storm in the summer, and the arrival of the hunt in the fall for musical expressions of each season.

The four concertos have gained worldwide acclaim. In point of fact, it’s possible that you’ve even heard this song used as a ringtone!

Bizet – ‘Carmen’

From the “Toreador’s Song” to the “Habanera” and the aria “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” to the Overture itself, Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen is filled with catchy tunes.

The most recent use of Bizet’s music is in the Pixar film Up. In addition, a rather epic cover by Sesame Street and a Tom and Jerry tribute were performed.

Many people may not be aware that in the 19th century, Carmen was a pretty ground-breaking opera. Because he set his music to such a ridiculous plot, Bizet was regarded as quite the rebel. However, the opera went on to become one of the best-selling works ever written.

Johann Straus music was originally written as a ballet for the Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein, its popularity in the 20th century thanks to Torvill and Dean’s ice skating routine is in line with what the composer wanted!

Delibes – ‘Flower Duet’ from Lakmé

The “Flower Duet” is from the opera Lakmé by Léo Delibes, and the composer is kind of a one-hit wonder. Yet, that one hit has turned into a super hit – this two part harmony is currently one of the most well known at any point composed. Although it is typically performed by a soprano and a mezzo-soprano, the song’s rise to popularity has led to a wide range of interpretations.

This is by far the opera’s most well-known section, and the duet may best be remembered as the soundtrack to a British Airways commercial that will live long in memory.

Grieg – ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ from Peer Gynt Suite

Peer Gynt Suite by Grieg was originally composed as background music for a production of Ibsen’s play. However, he later arranged his music into two suites, which are among his most well-known pieces.

Because of its extremely catchy theme, this movement is particularly well-known. The melody has been used by contemporary pop and rock bands like Electric Light Orchestra, The Who, and Savatage. It has also been used as a sort of theme tune by the British theme park Alton Towers for many years, appearing in their advertisements and YouTube videos.

Mozart – Overturn Dorma’ from Turandot

When it was recorded by the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti and used as the anthem for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, Puccini’s opera aria “Nessun dorma” brought it to a worldwide audience.

Actually, it comes from Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, which he never finished. It is about the cruel princess Turandot and her reign of murder.

In the world of television talent shows, the piece is now considered to be a classic. This was Paul Potts’s anthem after he won the first season of Britain’s Got Talent.

Prokofiev – ‘Dance of the Knights’ from Romeo and Juliet

If you’re a fan of The Apprentice, you might recognize this: The theme music for the show was taken from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

The tragic tale of Shakespeare’s lovers who are at odds with each other and the war between the Montagues and Capulets is told in the ballet. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that this ballet’s centerpiece features one of the most dramatic pieces of music ever written. Neither did the fact that the producers of The Apprentice desired a portion of that drama for the theme song.

Rossini – Overture from ‘William Tell’

The galloping rhythm and trumpet solos of this overture’s finale make it easy to spot. When it was used as the theme song for The Lone Ranger movies, television shows, and radio shows, it was heard all over the world.

However, in recent years, the soundtrack for car chases and bizarre antics has almost become a cliché. Furthermore, it’s additionally highlighted in endless advertisements

Rossini’s show really has no other notable songs. In addition, this section of the overture, which is titled “The March of the Swiss Soldiers,” never appears again in the opera, which runs for five hours.