It’s getting toward Halloween here in the US and I got to thinking about spooky music.
Why is it that organ music is always considered mad scientist/evil mastermind music?
I mean, think about it: do these guys have time to be practicing their arpeggios and pedalwork?
Do they really want their hands tied up with massive nasty, gnarly chords?
Is it easy to come up with byzantine evil plans while playing the intricate counterpoint of a fugue?
Can we picture an evil mastermind wearing sensible organist shoes?
I guess we’re stuck with that image though.
So, ok, we’re going with it. What are our options here to make folks think an evil genius lives at your house while you’re handing out candy at Halloween?
Everyone thinks of the Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor first. Recordings of ALL of Bach’s organ music are available for free. Or you can download a subset of more familiar pieces. The pieces were recorded by Dr. James Kibbie on baroque organs in Germany (learn more about the project here).
Also, check out The 13 Scariest Pieces of Classical Music for Halloween (and the readers’ suggestions) for classics like Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, Saint-Saëns Danse Macabre, and Liszt’s Totentanz, among others.
Here Stockhausen presents his composition Gesang der Jünglige, which is just a little unnerving, and I imagine terrifying in the dark, played at low volume in some obscure corner.
Got 99 cents? Go to Amazon’s MP3 store for The Darkest Classical Piano Pieces, or the Little Box of Horror, or 100 Must-Have Horror Classics. All may not be what you think of as terror-inducing but for 99 cents, one can’t quibble.
And finally, this less terrifying but fascinating mash-up of classical works by Guy Cavill, from The Frankenstein Suite, Movement 3, It’s Alive – The Frankenstein Breathes. I like how the composers’ faces morph into one another in the video, all focused on the eyes.
Do you have any other suggestions for scary music? What’s the most terrifying music you’ve heard?