The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: What is the Devilishly best music for Halloween? Here are 13 suggestions to listen to plus some other suggestions. What piece would you choose? | October 31, 2014

ALERT: Today’s FREE Friday Musicale, from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Madison 900 University Bay Drive, features pianist Mark Valenti (below). He will play “Estampes” by Claude Debussy, Sonata by Bela Bartok and “Variations Serieuses” by Felix Mendelssohn.

Mark Valenti

By Jacob Stockinger

Today, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, is Halloween.

In addition to trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes, visiting Houses of Horrors, watching horror films and scary TV shows, people often listen to spooky music.


What is some good Halloween music?

One perennial favorite in the “Danse Macabre” by the French composer Camille Saint-Saens (below) with such masterful orchestration especially in the strings, brass and percussion parts. You can hear a popular YouTube video with over 5 million hits at the bottom.

Camille Saint-Saens

Here is a website from an Australian arts magazine with 13 -– yes, an unlucky 13 –- suggestions for the best Halloween music. See if you agree.

And here a previous post from this blog with some suggestions by The Ear as well as some very good and very appropriate reader suggestions:

What do you think is a really good piece of Halloween music?

Let us know in the COMMENTS section with a link to a YouTube video, if you can include that.

The Ear wants to hear.

And The Ear wishes you a HAPPY HALLOWEEN.






  1. Good question. The Australian magazine link has 13 outstanding suggestions but the winner, in my opinion, was the shockingly eerie “Requiem” by Gyorgy Ligeti. Kubrick used it in 2001. The close runner up is Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead which is appropriately moody and pessimistic. Here’s a link with the composer conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra: Both of these pieces, by the way, are major musical accomplishments and deserve to be played more and not just for “freakfest” events.

    Comment by fflambeau — October 31, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

  2. Jacob,

    The link to Mark Valenti leads us to a Wiki page about another Mark Valenti, but one who paints with paint rather than sound.


    And THANKS for your Herculean effort to write this daily blog. It’s much appreciated, always read and seldom praised — at least by me. For that, I apologize.

    All the best,

    Mike Scott

    Comment by michaelpscott — October 31, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    • Oh dear.
      Thank you for reading, replying and correcting me.
      I will fix it at once and say I am sorry and offer apologies.
      I should have checked it out better.
      My best,

      Comment by welltemperedear — October 31, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

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