Video: Classical music has been evolving for centuries, so there are all different kinds of sounds. That means that if you hate one kind, you can still love several other kinds. Hate opera? You still might love the orchestra. Symphonies too overwhelming? Try some shorter, sparer chamber music.
In the video above, we give you some tips for finding the kind of classical music you like, according to style, era, instrumentation and composer. We concentrate on the Romantic period — if you don’t care for that, watch our videos focusing on the Baroque and Classical periods.
When in doubt, start with the greats. But remember that composers such as Beethoven and Mozart have a wide variety among their own work. Mozart composed operas, symphonies, dances, marches, chamber music, solo piano pieces and church music — including his famous haunting Requiem. So if you don’t like one Mozart piece, just try one that sounds very different.
You don’t have to like all classical music in order to seriously appreciate certain forms, composers and pieces. The more you pay attention to the differences between these types, the more you’ll understand your taste as more than just “classical”. And the easier it will be to find more.
Another great way to start is with Lifehacker’s Spotify playlist of introductory classical music, which includes a wide range of recognisable music. Skip through until something catches your ear. Then look for more from that composer or type of piece.
You can even build your own playlist of just the classical pieces you love, and see what Spotify suggests at the bottom under “Recommended Songs”. Beethoven would be jealous.