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Dark Classical Music - From Bach To Bartok

Updated on December 20, 2014

The Perfect Music To Create A Spooky Halloween Atmosphere

If you are looking for some dark and scary music for a Halloween or other gathering, or just for your own listening pleasure, consider the huge and varied offerings of classical music.

This page gives a list of dark, scary, creepy, thunderous, and ominous-sounding pieces from the classical music repertoire spanning the Baroque period through the 20th century. Film makers have long used all types of classical music to create just the right atmosphere - and so can you.

This image is from the album, "The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music," available at

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The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music

This highly-rated MP3 album has the best available compilation of classical music with a dark mood, and it also provides a great introduction to this genre for the more casual listener.

When you listen to the audio samples (click the album links below), you will probably recognize most of these pieces immediately, even if you do not know their names. Whether you are a classical music buff or just an occasional listener, this MP3 album - which is quite a bargain for the sheer amount of music you get - has something with a dark sound for everyone. This highly-popular album currently ranks as the #2 top selling classical music album on, and a lot of the music is perfect for Halloween.

For the classical music purist, one downside is that many of the selections consist only of single movements, rather than the entire composition. Also, not all the pieces on this album really fall into the scary music category (some pieces, such as Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings," are more sad and somber) - but if you are trying to put together a playlist for a Halloween or other gathering and looking for music that is not pop or from the movies, you can easily compile a fairly complete list from just this one album.

J.S. Bach's famous "Toccata And Fugue In D Minor For Organ" is included here, plus works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Bartok, Liszt, Wagner, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Verdi, Barber, Grieg, Albinoni, Orff, Schubert, Holst, Berlioz, Mussorgsky, Satie, Handel, Chopin, Dukas, Ravel, Sibelius, Haydn, Rossini, Kodaly, Part, Giazotto, Gorecki, Boellmann, and many more.

The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music
The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music

This MP3 album includes 99 beautiful pieces by many different classical music composers from all periods in a variety of "dark" moods, much of it well suited for Halloween.


"Toccata And Fugue In D Minor For Organ" - Johann Sebastian Bach

At the top of every list of scary classical music is J.S. Bach's "Toccata And Fugue In D Minor For Organ." If you don't know it by name, you will recognize it immediately when you hear it.

When it comes to Halloween and/or classical music, what are your tastes?

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      cmadden 5 years ago

      One of my faves is Dvorak's New World.