While the horror tales slowly evoke tension until a sudden twist that catches us off guard, suspenseful classical music stimulates our brain and appeals excitement to predict when the next beat comes. The element of surprise is the thing makes a music piece outstanding.
Listening to music is a special way of matching the real-world with mental beats. Especially, suspenseful tempo emanating from the tones on a piano keyboard or vibrant timbre of violin might keep you in your toes in a surprising but stimulating way.
Try listening to our top 5 of suspenseful classical work below! You will know how it challenges your expectations.
Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-saëns
“Ah, I have heard it somewhere”, you might utter this sentence since the first note of Camille Saint-Saëns played. The impressive melody of this work is so famous that it is put into in several dramas, the background music of firework competitions, Halloween movies and even in short clips on social networks.
A French composer named Camille Saint-Saëns – a famous musician in the Édouard Colonne is the father of this suspenseful classical music work. Danse Macabre begins with twelve-midnight chimes on a harp leading listeners to the melody in the interval of the devil.
The piece reaches grandeur when appealing to the listener’s imagination with the images of the dead emerging from their tomb and dance in the moonlight. The departed souls are all dancing with each other without any social gap: a poor beggar with a wealthy lady, a nobleman with a withered woman – no difference when all is death.
In The Hall Of The Mountain King - Edvard Grieg
Miraculous Mandarin By Bela Barto
Dissonant, edgy but luscious and sumptuous are the described words you might hear from the review of Bela Barto’s works. Miraculous Mandarin by this Hungarian composer is a nasty story of urban’s chaos of life.
The work is quite heavy with rising and falling violin tunes showing the violent acts of trumps against an exotic girl.
Barto used many colourful techniques here, from the Tremeloes, double stops in the violin strings, cluster chords on the piano and the chromatic scales for the wind breeze. It is a fabulous composition for a vivid portrayal of sinister supernatural life and the natural forces rebel against corruption.
The Planets - “Mars, The Bringer Of War’’ By Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst got his inspiration from the characteristics of the planets as an astrologer. ‘Mars, the Bringer of War’ is the first part of the orchestral suite ‘The Planets’ – the most well-known masterpiece of this British composer.
At this piece, Holst showed the Roman god of war, Mars with angry and ominous movement. The military sense comes from hitting drum beats and horrent rhythms.
There are three musical ideas combined in the score. In essence, a cruel rhythmic picture of five constantly beating beats, the central theme in a trio moving with chromatic steps with no real purpose and the flourish of trumpets shows the emphasis sound on Euphonium.
Coriolan: Overture - Beethoven
Inspired by the story of a Roman general Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, genius composer Beethoven put the spirited overture Coriolan into his work, and depicted the transition from violence to the gentleness of Roman.
By summarizing the whole play in a movement, the composer emphasizes the extreme mood instead of trying to capture the story. The main theme is played in C minor Coriolanus’ determination and war-like tendencies while a softer E-flat major piece represents the mother’s pleading to stop it.
In this version, Coriolanus killed himself since he could not turn back when leading an army that belonged to his former enemies to the Rome gate.
The surprises in music trigger expectations about emotional excitement and create a feeling of desire and reward predictions. That’s why the musicians from the previous period composed several kinds of suspenseful classical music.
The thrilling melodies will manipulate listeners’ emotions by inserting slowing tempo and sudden notes in each work.
Let’s enjoy our top 5 suspenseful classical music to make something special for a horror-atmosphere. The thrilling tunes played on a piano keyboard might open your mysterious world tonight. Thanks for reading!