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15 Classical Melodies You Totally Recognize And What They're Actually Called

You've definitely heard this pieces of music before. Impress your friends by being able to name them AND back up your knowledge with fun facts!

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1. 2nd Movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony

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What it sounds like: EPIC.

Where you've heard it: The big speech in The King's Speech, Mr. Holland's Opus, and the pre-apocalypse panic scene in Knowing.

What you can say about it to sound smart: This movement was so popular that it was even the encore at the symphony's premiere.

2. 2nd Movement of Ravel's "String Quartet in F Major"

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What it sounds like: Plucky, playful string instruments.

Where you've heard it: The Royal Tenenbaums and that Ancestry.com commercial.

What you can say about it to sound smart: The quartet was met with a tepid response when it premiered. Composer Maurice Ravel dedicated the piece to Gabriel Fauré, who said the last movement was "stunted, badly balanced, in fact a failure." Ouch.

3. "O Fortuna" from Orff's "Carmina Burana"

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What it sounds like: Some terrifying, dramatic shit is about to go down.

Where you've heard it: Everything from this Old Spice commercial, to the battle scene in Excalibur, to this Hershey's Spreads commercial, and pretty much any time someone wants a quick and easy way to add drama.

What you can say about it to sound smart: "O Fortuna" is just the first movement Carl Orff's 25-movement work. Sadly, he's not known for much else. Carmina Burana was his one-hit wonder.

4. "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi"

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What it sounds like: Delightfully sweet and slightly sappy opera singing.

Where you've heard it: A Grand Theft Auto 3 commercial, the opening of A Room with a View, Jackie Evancho's audition for America's Got Talent, and every wannabe opera singer's repertoire.

What you can say about it to sound smart: In the opera, the aria is sung by Lauretta as a plea for her father to help her fiancé's family read a dead relative's will. It's pretty convincing. The final lines beg her father to have pity because she's so tormented and anguished, she feels like she's going to die!

5. "Gymnopédie No. 1" by Erik Satie

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What it sounds like: Contemplation on a rainy afternoon in Paris.

Where you've heard it: The climactic scene in Man On Wire, this scene from The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson does love his classics), and the end of Lana Del Rey's video for "Carmen".

What you can say about it to sounds smart: There are two other Gymnopédies in addition to this extremely popular one. The third came a few months after the first, but the second wasn't published until 7 years later!

6. "The Flower Duet" from Delibes' "Lakmé"

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What it sounds like: Two heavenly angels singing elegantly.

Where you've heard it: This British Airways commercial, this Ford commercial, and the nude swimming scene from Piranha 3D. It's even referenced in 50 Shades of Grey!

What you can say about it to sound smart: It's called "The Flower Duet" for a reason. In the opera, Lakmé and her servant Mallika sing this duet as they head towards a river to pick flowers.

7. "The Blue Danube Waltz" by Johan Strauss II

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What it sounds like: Something you should ice skate to.

Where you've heard it: 2001: A Space Odyssey, this iPhone 4 commercial, and probably every cartoon ever made, including that potato chip scene from The Simpsons.

What you can say about it to sound smart: While you may know it as an instrumental piece, this waltz was originally a choral piece! So the next time you catch yourself humming it, be sure to include the lyrics about courage, passion, castles, and mermaids.

8. Love Theme from Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet"

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What it sounds like: Love. Just pure love.

Where you've heard it: Every time a television show or movie has tried to convey love, from South Park to Pushing Daisies. There are seriously too many to list.

What you can say about it to sounds smart: Those flutes and horns you hear? Those are supposed to represent Juliet and Romeo, respectively. And when the theme comes back with more string instruments underneath, it signifies the consummation of their marriage.

9. 3rd Movement from Boccherini's "String Quintet in E Major"

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What it sounds like: Snooty violins.

Where you've heard it: The restaurant scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Ladykillers, and any time someone needs to add a dash of pretension to a scene.

What you can say about it to sound smart: This piece is a quintet, not a quartet. Why? Boccherini wrote many pieces for the Font String Quartet, but would sometimes join them, prompting him to add another cello part to his music.

10. "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" by Franz Liszt

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What it sounds like: Energetic, fun, slightly insane piano music.

Where you've heard it: Every cartoon ever, from Bugs Bunny to Tom and Jerry. Even Mickey Mouse tried his hand at it.

What you can say about it to sound smart: There are two major sections of this piece: the lassan and the friska. The lassan is the dramatic part and the friska is the fun, dance-y part.

11. 2nd Movement from Bach's "Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major"

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What it sounds like: Having sad thoughts in a slow-motion montage.

Where you've heard it: The library scene in Se7en, Battle Royale, and the shark scene in The Spy Who Loved Me.

What you can say about it to sound smart: Need a good dirty joke? The arrangement of the second movement you're probably most familiar with was done by August Wilhelmj. He chose to title "Air on the G String". *teehee*

12. 1st Movement from Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"

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What it sounds like: Light, happy, and posh instrumental music.

Where you've heard it: This Huggies commercial, this scene from Ace Venture: When Nature Calls, Alien, and There's Something About Mary.

What you can say about it to sound smart: Though this may be one of Mozart's most popular works, it wasn't even published until over 20 years after his death.

13. "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg

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What it sounds like: Mischievous trolls and gnomes conspiring.

Where you've heard it: This Ritz commercial, the regatta scene from The Social Network, the airport scene in Rat Race, and any movie trailer trying to convey chaos.

What you can say about it to sound smart: This is yet another mainly orchestral piece that actually has lyrics. In Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, "troll-courtiers" sing a song to this famous tune threatening to bite, boil, and roast the title character.

14. "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach

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What it sounds like: The theme music in some creep's lair.

Where you've heard it: The opening credits of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, La Dolce Vita, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

What you can say about it to sound smart: Some scholars question whether this piece was actually written by Bach. It contains stylistic features that would have been rare for Bach's era. But he still gets to take credit for this eerie piece.

15. "Boléro" by Maurice Ravel

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What it sounds like: Grand and slightly mechanical orchestral music.

Where you've heard it: This gold-medal-winning Burger King commercial, this Coke commercial, and this scene from 10.

What you can say about it to sounds smart: This piece is most commonly performed as an orchestral piece. However, it was originally intended as a dance piece, and its premiere at the Paris Opéra featured choreography by Bronislava Nijinska.

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