->''"American movie makers have always held a deep reverence for composers whose works lie in the public domain."''
-->-- '''Cecil Adams'''

Classical music and folk songs seem to show up an awful lot as background music. Sometimes it conveys culture or time period. Sometimes they just sound cool or appropriate. Sometimes the answer lies in legalities. There's just less red tape in the public domain.

Music in the public domain has no need to license the melody or a SuspiciouslySimilarSong. There has also been an emergence of [[http://www.incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/ free music]], some of which even has a free license for commercial use.

See the subtrope: AmazingFreakingGrace.

For those pieces with well-entrenched meanings, see StandardSnippet. RockMeAmadeus is a related trope where classical music (public domain or otherwise) gets sampled or remixed.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* Independent media in general, particularly student or other amateur projects, out of necessity due to having NoBudget. Creator/KevinMacLeod of [[http://www.incompetech.com Incompetech]] probably makes a good half of his income supplying library music for such endeavours.
[[/folder]]
[[folder:Anime]]
* The founder of anime as we know it, OsamuTezuka, based two animated works on this trope. His 1966 ''Pictures at an exhibition'' is an animated interpretation of Musorgsky's suite of the same name. And his last (and unfinished) animated work, "Legend of the forest'', is a TearJerker story (coupled with a history of animation itself) set to Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony (Tezuka apparently intended to animate the entire symphony, but only the First and Fourth Movements were completed before AuthorExistenceFailure).
* The final episode of IrresponsibleCaptainTylor makes EPIC use of Suppe's "Light Cavalry Overture" for one of the greatest BaitAndSwitch of all time. It has to seen to be believed.
* The ending theme to ''DragonHalf'' is a medley of [[LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven]] symphonies... with newly written lyrics about ''omelettes''. (No, seriously.)
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' featured Ravel's "Bolero".
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' uses the [[OminousLatinChanting "Lacrimosa"]] from WolfgangAmadeusMozart's ''Requiem'' in a flashback in the fourth episode. (You'll hear his name a lot on this page.)
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' uses the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" in its 22nd episode, and "Ode To Joy" (Beethoven's Ninth, Fourth Movement) in its 24th. There's a fair amount of LyricalDissonance: [[spoiler: Asuka's MindRape by an Angel is set to[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=munuk5sS5Ro "Hallelujah,"]] and[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L80eRPQvE38 "Ode To Joy"]] amounts to Kaworu's theme and plays as he almost destroys the world.]]
** Bach's "Cello Suite No. 1" and Pachelbel's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsrT-cCHJ8s&feature=related Canon in D]] are used in the movie ''Death & Rebirth'', and Bach's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InNf-ZahX_0 Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring]]" and "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKsTEWz82iQ Air on the G String]]" appear in ''End of Evangelion''. Though instead of using Bach's great and slightly morbid "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7VQWAILSbY Komm, Süsser Tod]]", only the name was used for a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWmJfX2AI2Q more cheerful and much more morbid pop song]].
*** Most of the classical music in ''Evangelion'' is used ironically, but surprisingly enough, "Cello Suite No. 1" and "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" are played relatively straight. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay174Yvnx7s The R1 DVD menus fix that.]]
* Not wanting ''Evangelion'''s reputation for SoundtrackDissonance to come into question, the second ''Film/RebuildOfEvangelion'' film is sure to make soul-searing use of not [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnsKeAejgs0 one]], but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LpnOuuU08Y&feature=related two]] Japanese folk songs.
* Episode 6 of ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'', the field day episode, has a [[IncrediblyLamePun field day]] with this trope: "Csikos Post," "Camptown Races," Offenbach's "Infernal Gallop" ("Music/TheCancanSong"), "Clarinet Polka," Kabalevsky's ''Comedians'', and "Turkey in the Straw" are all featured as background music.
** Aren't they typical tunes played at Japanese school athletic festivals? Turkey in the Straw is anyway.
* ''[[MagicalGirl Mahou Shoujo]]-Tai Arusu (Tweeny Witches)'' has a peppy J-Pop ending theme based on "The Beautiful Blue Danube".
* The ''{{Area 88}}'' TV series used a techno remix of Bach's "Little Fugue in G Minor" for its opening theme song.
** As did the series ''Nazca''.
* Other than the opening and ending themes, ''LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' uses classical music for the entirety of its soundtrack.
** Mahler's 6th and 3rd are associated with the Empire.
* The theme of ''Iketeru Futari'' is a JPop song called "Fall in YOU" -- which suddenly takes up the tune of Bach's ''Music/ToccataAndFugueInDMinor'' for ten seconds in the middle. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vE6Bf-u5uQ Seriously!]]
* One of the episodes of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' has Sailor Uranus searching for Sailor Neptune and ending up getting damaged, and to the tune of Bach's ''Music/ToccataAndFugueInDMinor'', no less.
* The song "Journey to the Sun" from ''[[GundamWing Endless Waltz]]'' uses the familiar ten-note refrain from "Jingle Bells"; appropriate, since the movie's events center on Christmas.
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'', being themed around ballet, uses plenty of classical themes.
* The same counts for ''NodameCantabile'', which makes sense for a series about classical musicians.
* ''KemekoDeluxe'' used [[LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven's]] "Ode To Joy"[[note]]or "Friedrich Schillers ''Ode To Joy'' sang to the the final movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony", for you classical music buffoons[[/note]] when [[MundaneMadeAwesome Izumi's bikini top falls off]] and she lands an ArmorPiercingSlap on Sanpeita.
* ''Anime/TheBigO'' utilizes Chopin's Prelude No. 15, aka "The Raindrop Prelude".
* ''GiantRobo The Animation'' has "Una Furtiva Lagrima" from Donizetti's ''L'elisir d'amore''. It also has an original composition based on "Dies Irae" that briefly features [[ShoutOut the melody of the original hymn]].
* ''Manga/BlackButler'' uses the "Queen of the Night's Revenge" aria from Mozart's opera ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'' at the start of Episode 5.
** The OST of ''.hack//Roots'' features a song based on this aria as well.
* ''GhostStories'' Episode 4 prominently features Beethoven's famous piano composition, "Fur Elise".
* ''{{FLCL}}'' used Kabalevsky's "Comedians" for a hectic chase scene.
* In ''Manga/BlackCat'', main villain Creed Disketh played the Third Movement to Giovanni Battista Pescetti's "Sonata in C Minor" for piano several times.
* The final episode of [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' contains two arrangements of Chopin's Etude #3 as background music.
** The First Movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony can be heard in Episodes 49 and 50 as well.
** In the English dub, [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Zolf]] J. Kimblee can be heard humming Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" in Episode 39.
* ''RideBack'' features "The Great Gate of Kiev" from Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" as a recurring motif.
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' uses Beethoven's Ode to Joy in Episode 2 where Menchi tries to escape. She's surrounded by a rainbow and cherubs while the track plays. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17HZJIFG2LU Skip to 5:00 and 6:20 to see.]]
* ''GunslingerGirl'' plays "Ode to Joy" in one episode, making that moment work much better than just reading the words did in the manga.
** One episode of the second season features an arrangement of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7T6w6ndTuw&t=23m9s Scarborough Fair]]".
* Obscure anime ''FightingFoodons'' used the tune of Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld Overture" for its dub theme song.
* ''{{Gankutsuou}}'' likes this trope, too. Tchaikovsky's "Manfred Symphony" is used a lot--the First Movement is the Count's own theme and excerpts from latter movements are also used here and there. Eugénie plays the First Movement (edited, though) of Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto No. 2" and Schumann's "Traumerei" during her performance in the Opera, on Luna Albert and Franz meet the Count during a performance of "Lucia di Lammermoor", later in Paris the Count invites Albert to a performance of "Robert le Diable"... and the opening theme song is based partly on Chopin's "Etude Op.10 No.3."
* Done wonderfully in the R-18 rated ''Shoujo Sect'', in which Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", Debussy's "Claire de Lune", Bach's "Little Fugue in G Minor" were used.
* The "Moonlight Sonata" also features on ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', as part of a mystery.
* ''[[Literature/HaruhiSuzumiya The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'' uses Tchaikovsky's Fourth, Shostakovich's Seventh, and music from Ravel's ballet ''Daphnis et Chloé'' in "The Day of Sagittarius" and Mahler's Eighth in the finale. ''[[TheMovie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'' features Satie's Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes along with "Je te veux".
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' uses Richard Wagner's "Music/RideOfTheValkyries" from the opera "Die Walküre" in episode 6.
* The ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'' OST features a piece based on the fugue from Johann Sebastian Bach's "ToccataAndFugueInDMinor".
** ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'''s soundtrack also has two pieces that use segments of the above piece.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' Episode 86 very appropriately uses Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria".
** In Episode 126, Antonín Dvořák's "From the New World" is played when [[spoiler: Luffy and Crocodile launch their final attacks on each other.]]
* Episode 6 of ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' used Mozart's "Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major".
* Not quite background music, but still: The use of Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" in the fourth ''Ranma 1/2'' opening.
* ''TegamiBachi'' frequently features Johann Sebastian Bach's "Air in D Major" from Orchestral Suite No. 3 as background music, as well as his Sonata for "Solo Violin No. 1 in G Minor".
* ''RomeoxJuliet'' uses the aria "Lascia ch'io pianga" from George Frederic Handel's opera "Rinaldo".
* The score of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' features arrangements of a few classical pieces, including the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria", Claude Debussy's "La Fille aux Chevaux de Lin", and Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise Op. 34 No. 14".
* The OVA of ''Manga/KazeToKiNoUta'' has a lot of classical pieces, fittingly enough. The most notable is Chopin's "Étude Op. 25 No. 11".
* ''Anime/LupinIIITheWomanCalledFujikoMine'' uses an arrangement of J. S. Bach's "Invention 13 in A minor".
* ''TheFamiliarOfZero'' Season 2 Episode 6 uses the "Largo" from Handel's opera "Xerxes".
* ''Blood+'' features Chopin's "Raindrop Prelude", Brahms' "Lullaby", the Second Movement of Mozart's "Piano Concerto No. 21", and Haydn's "Emperor" string quartet and "Surprise" symphony.
* ''Literature/{{Hyouka}}'' uses Bach's "Air on the G String" and Gabriel Fauré's "Sicilienne" frequently.
* ''Manga/{{Minami-ke}}'' uses the first movement of Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings in C Major Op. 48" whenever [[MrImagination Hosaka]] gets a little over the top.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' has some rather frequent public domain tracks:
** "Habanera" from ''Theatre/{{Carmen}}'' is most frequently used as the {{leitmotif}} of the Magic Council.
** Music/TheCancanSong typically plays whenever there's a BarBrawl.
** One of the official soundtracks has a track titled "Ifuu Doudou". Its meaning? "Pomp and Circumstance", aka the "Graduation Song".
** "Air on the G String" plays during Juvia's first appearance in Episode 21.
** Expect to hear "''Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra''" when Juvia starts ChewingTheScenery, such as when she mistakes Lucy for her rival for Gray's affections in Episode 25.
** Another official track, "Rakuen no Tou", is actually a shortened version of SergeiRachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto No. 2".
** Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria" plays during one of Juvia's {{Imagine Spot}}s on Sirius Island.
* After TheReveal in ''Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu'', the 4th movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony is used as [[spoiler: Proist]]'s {{Leitmotif}}, introduced as the only thing she finds redeeming about human culture.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The lyrics and (optional) music in ''[[Fanfic/TotalDramaIslandByGilbertAndSullivan Total Drama Island, by Gilbert and Sullivan]]'' are those of, well, Creator/GilbertAndSullivan, whose works entered the public domain in the 1950s.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' was renowned for its use of classical music in its soundtrack, and most people will automatically identify the song "Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra" with the movie -- with one exception (see below).
** Though it wasn't all public domain -- Györgi Ligeti's music was altered and used without his permission, and Ligeti threatened to sue Kubrick and MGM.
** Originally the classical pieces were merely used to set the general pace for an original score by Alex North, but Kubrick obviously knew awesome when he heard it.
* Kubrick, a lover of classical music, used this trope frequently and masterfully. The entirety of the soundtrack to ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' is comprised of classical pieces (fittingly, since the protagonist is expressly stated to be a classical music buff, which even becomes a plot point), some of them arranged for a moog synthesizer to lend them a surreal, nightmarish quality. ''Film/TheShining'' did the same.
* In ''Film/DrStrangelove'', every scene of the bomber crew is accompanied by an orchestral arrangement of ''When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again/Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya'', two folksongs which share a tune, but very different tones.
* Spielberg imitated Kubrick in ''Film/MinorityReport'', using "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and Schubert's "Unfinished" symphony.
* Both ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'' and ''WesternAnimation/IceAge2'' use [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of5ebCY5__Q Adagio from Spartacus]].
* The song "Classico" in ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny'' is a medley of numerous classical tunes, with [[ClusterFBomb very profane lyrics.]]
* The Japanese film ''Film/{{Tampopo}}'' uses excerpts of Mahler symphonies and Liszt's "Les Preludes".
* ''Film/KramerVsKramer'' used Vivaldi's Concerto in C major for mandolin and strings.
* Partial example: While ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' contains many original songs, the background music also includes arrangements of FelixMendelssohn's "Scherzo in E minor" and Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain".
* ''Film/{{Gattaca}}'' used a modified version of Franz Schubert's Impromptu in G-flat major, Op. 90, No. 3 with extra notes added for a concert scene involving a pianist genetically engineered with 12 fingers.
* The above examples are only a very small sample: the use of classical music in Hollywood films is VERY frequent. [[http://home.pacific.net.sg/~bchee/movies.html Here]] is a more comprehensive (though not exhaustive) list.
* Trailers for films (though mostly for TV Spots) use "Hall of the Mountain King" A LOT. Although in the UK the music is heavily associated with the Alton Towers theme park, so it always seems odd when it turns up anywhere else- for example the recent Windows Phone 7 advert, which has confused a lot of people (especially as it includes a clip of people on a rollercoaster).
** Beethoven's "OdeToJoy" is very heavily used in trailers, particularly after a movie had debuted in theaters and is a box-office and/or critical success.
* ''Film/{{Hopscotch}}'' stars actor Walter Matthau and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Puccini and Rossini make cameo appearances as well.
* The original ''Film/DawnOfTheDead'' features mostly library tracks for music. The Italian cut features additional original music by the band Goblin.
* ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'' utilizes several pieces of classical music, including the Overture to Mozart's ''The Marriage of Figaro'' and the allegretto from Beethoven's 7th Symphony.
* The Baz Luhrmann ''[[Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet Romeo + Juliet]]'' uses Mozart's 25th Symphony for the scene where the Capulets are preparing for their ball, though most of the rest of the music is original.
* The entire soundtrack to Darren Aronofsky's ''Film/BlackSwan'' is based off of "Swan Lake".
* The 2010 remake of ''TrueGrit'' uses "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" as the theme for Mattie Ross, the main character, among other hymns. Unfortunately, because they were all pre-composed music, Mr. Carter Burwell was denied an Academy Award nomination.
* The original ''Film/{{Rollerball}}'' is notable for its use of classic music such as "Music/{{Toccata and Fugue in D minor}}" and the "Adagio in G minor."
* ''Film/{{Help}}'' was a showcase for a lot of Beatles songs, and much of the soundtrack was their tunes done in a ''Film/JamesBond'' style--but then they also used Wagner's 'Lohengrin', Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture', Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy', and Rossini's 'Barber of Seville'.
* The ''Film/FlashGordonSerial'' used FranzLiszt's ''Les Preludes'' as its theme, eliciting the Cecil Adams page quote.
* Most of ''Bloodbeat'''s soundtrack is made of public domain music, culminating in a climax with "Carmina Burana" blastig in the background.
* Most of the background music of ''Film/TheHandThatRocksTheCradle'' is arrangements of "Poor Wandering One" from ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'', including a ScareChord moment when a radio alarm clock goes off. The father and son also sing from ''H.M.S. Pinafore'' while dad is shaving in the morning.
* Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations plays at the end of ''Film/{{Australia}}.[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Sousa's "Liberty Bell March" became the ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' theme. Even the (ancient) recording they used must have been in the public domain.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Ravel's "Bolero" was used in "The Impossible Planet".
** In the commentary for "The Christmas Invasion," Creator/RussellTDavies noted how happy composer Murray Gold was that "Jingle Bells" was out of copyright, and so could be rescored as incidental music in that episode.
** Strauss's "Emperor Waltz" is the "soothing music" played in the Tardis in "Vincent and the Doctor."
* Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" was used in the ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' episode "My Female Trouble".
* Charles Gounod's ''Funeral March of a Marionette'' is more commonly known as the theme song to ''AlfredHitchcockPresents''
* The restrictiveness of the scope of public domain music is parodied in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' with the Mads' karaoke machine that plays only public domain songs, such as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", the immortal "Baa Baa Black Sheep", the turgid and bittersweet Gregorian Chant #5, the impish "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and Mozart's ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute''.
* The soundtrack to ''ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' is primarily public-domain easy listening music. Originally done because the show had a low budget, it's [[SoundtrackDissonance usually in contrast]] with the show's [[CrossesTheLineTwice subject matter]].
* [[LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven's]] ''Moonlight Sonata'' was used in ''Series/ForeverKnight''. Strains of it can be heard in the music used when [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Baltar is looking around the Cylon baseship]] in "Torn".
** It is also used in the final moments of a biography of Tupac Shakur.
* Unusual example: ''{{Lexx}}'''s MusicalEpisode wove a tragedy of love and loss out of German nursery rhyme tunes unfamiliar to English-speaking audiences. Other episodes had comedic versions of "Greensleeves" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".
* Lampshaded on ''Series/ICarly'', when Spencer is trapped in a heating vent and trying to amuse himself, "And now, a medley of your favorite songs from the public domain!"
** And before that in ''iSpy a Mean Teacher'', when Carly, Freddie, and Sam get caught in Ms. Briggs house they act like they were there to surprise her for her birthday, "Let's sing our public domain birthday song!"
* An odd version occurred in ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', where fans were disappointed to discover that several [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome awesome]] tracks weren't included on the official soundtrack (particularly from the [[Series/KamenRiderBlackRX World of Black RX]] arc). Eventually it was discovered that they were part of a public domain library...when someone heard one of the songs on ''Series/MinuteToWinIt''.
* Mentioned on ''Series/ThirtyRock'', when Jack states that it's "public domain week" on ''America's Kidz Got Singing'':
-->'''Jack''': This week, America's kids sing really old songs that everyone knows and Creator/{{NBC}} doesn't have to pay for. It's brilliant!
* The theme song of ''Series/BarneyAndFriends'' is "Yankee Doodle". "I Love You" is "This Old Man".
* Despite decades of wonderful original music composed for ''Series/SesameStreet'', what tune is used (with altered lyrics) to end every ''Elmo's World'' segment? "Jingle Bells."
** Many preschool series (animated or live-action) will more often than not feature a number of, if not many traditional nursery rhymes, etc, including the above two shows.
* ''Series/{{Wings}}''' ThemeTune was Franz Shubert's "Piano Sonata Number 20."
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': "Anchors Aweigh" and "The Marines Hymn" are played several times.
** In "Boot", "The Marines Hymn" is sung by female Marines during an exercise.
** In "Heroes", both Harm and Mac get to whistle their respective service song.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pinball]]
* Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" is used in ''Pinball/TheChampionPub''.
* "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" is is used in ''Haunted House''.
* A rock remix of The Wedding March is used in ''Pinball/MonsterBash'' during the [[Film/BrideOfFrankenstein Bride of Frankenstein's]] "Ball and Chain" mode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Whereas film lovers will identify "Also sprach Zarathustra" with ''2001'', in the mind of the wrestling fan, the song is synonymous with RicFlair.
* [[JerryLawler Jerry "The King" Lawler]] has long used Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" (Great Gate of Kiev Movement) as his entrance theme.
* Wrestling/{{WWE}} wrestler TheUndertaker's most common and well-known theme is a variation of Chopin's funeral march.
* And who can forget Doink the Clown entering to "Entry of the Gladiators"? ([[FanonDiscontinuity as much as we wish we could]].)
** [[MonsterClown BITE YOUR TONGUE, CHURL!]]
* For a brief period at the height of his "American blueblood" gimmick, the [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} WWF's]] Hunter Hearst Helmsley (better known today as TripleH) made his entrance to [[LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven's]] "Ode to Joy".
* Don't forget RandySavage coming out to Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" (otherwise known as "the graduation song").
** AKA "Land of Hope and Glory".
* Much in the same line of RicFlair, DanielBryan is now the definitive example of "Music/RideOfTheValkyries" in the wrestling community.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* ''The Lone Ranger'' on both radio and television used the finale of Rossini's ''William Tell'' overture ("March of the Swiss Soldiers") as its opening theme. To this day, one tongue-in-cheek definition of a "highbrow" is, "someone who can listent to the ''William Tell'' Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger."
** And the radio series ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet'' used Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Flight of the Bumblebee'' for its opening theme, and a number of classical works as regular soundtrack bits. Both series were created by WXYZ's George W. Trendle, a notorious cheapskate, who was well known in the radio broadcast business for pinching his pennies in the production of his radio dramas. The film serials also used a classical soundtrack, unless the action on-screen demanded something else.
*** It worked ''beautifully'', though, especially in ''TheLoneRanger''. Who can forget Liszt's "Prelude to a Silver Bullet", and Mendelssohn's "Rustler's Cave Overture"? The damn thing was ''perfect''. Few people can listen to "March of the Swiss Soldiers" without at least thinking "Hi-yo Silver!"
* The opening music to ''You'll Have Had Your Tea: The Doings of Radio/HamishAndDougal'' is a pipe version of the Rondo from Mozart's 4th Horn Concerto.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Offenbach's "Infernal Gallop" (perhaps better known as "Music/TheCancanSong"), from ''Orpheus in the Underworld'', shows up a ''lot'':
** ''VideoGame/{{Lemmings}}'', which also uses, among others, "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window,"(actually more of a SuspiciouslySimilarSong) "She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain," Mozart's ''Rondo Alla Turca'', Pachelbel's ''Canon'', Tchaikovsky's ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'' and ''SwanLake''... you get the idea.
*** ''[[MissionPackSequel Oh No! More Lemmings]]'' had an original soundtrack in its Amiga/PC release. Its Acorn Archimedes port, however, had a rewritten soundtrack with an absolute ''crapload'' of public domain songs, even more than in the original game: "The Trumpet Hornpipe" (better known as the ''CaptainPugwash'' theme), "K-K-K-Katy", "Camptown Races", "Three Blind Mice", the Finale from the William Tell overture, "Greensleeves", "Old [=McDonald=]", "Waltzing Matilda", "The British Grenadiers", "On Ilka Moor Baht 'at", "Trepak", "Music/{{Toccata and Fugue in D Minor}}", "Don't Dilly-Dally on the Way" (also used in the MasterSystem and GameGear ports of the first game), "Rule, Britannia!", "Sobre las Olas" (also used in ''Lemmings 2''), "Yakety Sax", "Country Gardens" (also appearing in the SNES port of ''Lemmings 2''), and finally "Portsmouth".
** ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}}'' (for the Hot Lips boss), which uses even more than ''Lemmings'', if that's even believable.
** ''MrDo''.
** ''[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Super Mario Land's]]'' invincibility music.
** The boss music in ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures: Montana's Movie Madness''. A minor-key variation is used for the between-stage interludes.
** ''[=O2Jam=]'', where it was one of the most popular songs.
** ''Jubeat'' features a Eurobeat rendition titled "Heaven or Hell".
** A remixed version plays during the credits roll of ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'' (unless you win as Roll).
** Although the ''Ninja Hattori-Kun'' Famicom game's main theme is mostly an original tune, it quotes a few bars of "Orpheus in the Underworld".
** The Japanese version of ''VideoGame/CrashBash'' (retitled ''Crash Bandicoot Carnival'') used a techno remix in the Dot Dash and Splash Dash minigames (the Western versions use a remix of Dingodile's theme from ''Videogame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'').
* The DSiWare downloadable ''Soul Of Darkness'', Gameloft's ''Castlevania'' clone, uses the "Dies Irae" from Mozart's Requiem Mass for its credits music.
* Space shooter [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXQO0ibclm4 ''Phoenix'']] should be counted as one of the earliest examples, with its short excerpts of ''Romance de Amor'' and [[Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven's]] ''Für Elise''.
* Khatchaturian's ''Sabre Dance'' is another one that shows up pretty often, showing up in, among other places, the SNES ''Bonk'' game. And ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}}''.
* Grieg's ''In the Hall of the Mountain King'' shows up quite often as well, including ''Manic Miner'' for ZX Spectrum, ''Hunt the Wumpus'' for [[TI99 TI-99/4A]], and... you guessed it... ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}}''.
** and of course, in the video game called, you guessed it, Mountain King.
** Also in the old space-sim-trader {{Elite}}.
* ...Y'know what? Just check out [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parodius_music The Other Wiki's entry on the music in Parodius]].
** WordOfGod is that, for the original MSX ''Parodius'', the use of public domain music was due to the composer given a very strict deadline. This carried over to ''[[SequelDisplacement Parodius da!]]'', and before long it was a series staple.
** In ''VideoGame/LaMulana'', the ''[=PR3=]'' MiniGame parodies many elements of the original ''Parodius'', right down to remixing classical songs; "Pomp and Circumstance" for the pre-stage area, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" for the stage itself, and "Sabre Dance" for the boss.
* Another [[TI99 TI-99/4A]] game, ''VideoGame/{{Alpiner}}'', featured as its main music another song from Grieg's ''Peer Gynt'' soundtrack, "Anitra's Dance".
* Did anyone know that iconic Spanish guitar solo in the beginning cutscene in ''AceCombat 04'', titled "Prelude", is actually Agustin Barrios Mangore's "La Catedral, 1st Movement" (hence "Prelude")? Some of his works are also featured in the cutscenes, such as "Una Limosnita Por (el) Amor de Dios" ("An Alm for the Love of God").
* Mozart's ''Eine Kleine Nachtmusik'' starts off the arcade ''VideoGame/MarioBros'' game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Frogger}}'' plays a snippet of ''Camptown Races'' whenever the title character dies, while levels are introduced by a variety of classical themes.
** The "game start" jingle is "Inu no Omawari-san" ("The Dog Policeman"), which is a traditional Japanese nursery rhyme. The line the game plays is the first one, which goes "Maigo no maigo no koneko-chan. Anata no ouchi wa doko desu ka?" ("Lost, lost kitten, where is your address?")
** The Commodore 64 version employs a sort of mash-up/medley theme that very notably includes ''Yankee Doodle''. Yankee Doodle also appears in the arcade version.
* In ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim'', the background music in the second level, "What the Heck?", starts off with Modest Mussorgsky's ''Night on Bald Mountain'' before switching suddenly to elevator music.
* [[Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven's]] ''Moonlight Sonata'' provides two backing tracks in ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim 2''; another level uses a medley of "Funiculi, Funicula" and "Tarantella".
* Beethoven's ''Moonlight Sonata'' (First Movement) also shows up in the title screen and ending of ''VideoGame/{{Thexder}}'' (and its more fully-scored sequel ''Fire Hawk''), as well as ''VideoGame/JetSetWilly''.
* The NES version of ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' used Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"... and, on the victory screen, the Soldiers' Chorus from Bizet's ''Carmen''. The Game Boy version, on the other hand, used the Russian folk song "Korobeiniki" (and another Tchiakovsky piece, "Trepak" from ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'' as victory music). In fact, the Tetris Company has [[DisneyOwnsThisTrope trademarked the use of "Korobeiniki."]] Also, Type C in the Game Boy version is a Minuet in B Minor from one of J.S. Bach's French Suites.
* ''Yoshi's Cookie'', in the spirit of puzzle games, uses "Csikós Post" as background music in all three versions (it's Action Music B in the SNES version and 2P Music C in the NES and Game Boy versions).
* The ''VideoGame/SuperSolvers'' {{Edutainment Game}}s' soundtracks consisted entirely of classical music:
** ''Midnight Rescue'' used "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "In The Halls of the Mountain King".
** ''[=OutNumbered=]'' used two movements of Mozart's 40th Symphony.
** ''Treasure Mountain'' plays C.P.E. Bach's "Solfeggietto" on the title screen and upon reaching the top of the mountain. One of Beethoven's country dances was used as a level theme.
* ''Frontier: Elite'' uses a variety of classical themes, including Johann Strauss' "Beautiful Blue Danube" and Wagner's "Music/RideOfTheValkyries".
** The original ''{{Elite}}'' also used "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" on the opening screen, and (on some platforms) when the player's ship is performing auto-docking. This latter use is a reference to ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.
* ''{{Gyruss}}'' uses a rocked-out arrangement of Bach's ''Music/{{Toccata and Fugue in D minor}}''. With power chords. Compared to the "beep boop BIP beep" soundtrack many other video games of the era had, it's actually pretty amazing.
* ''ArmyMen II'''s soundtrack almost entirely uses well known songs excluding the main menu and [[TutorialLevel boot camp]]. Almost delves into SoundtrackDissonance when you have to defend a tank depot while listening to ''Spring Song'' of all things.
* The [=LucasArts=] adventure ''VideoGame/{{Loom}}'' uses melodies from ''Theatre/SwanLake''.
** JustifiedTrope: The character's mother and several other characters were turned into swans.
* ''Nushi Tsuri Adventure: Kite no Bouken'' (part of the ''Legend of the River King'' series) appears to have ''Auld Lang Syne'' as the main title theme. It also contains another StandardSnippet when the main characters discover a bottle with a paper inside it.
* The Mystic Cave Zone theme in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' is based on Julius FučĂ­k's "Entry of the Gladiators" (also known as "that circus theme").
** Also present in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog3'', in the Carnival Night Zone, which also sampled Music/MichaelJackson's "Jam," which makes sense since Jackson's songwriters and those who worked with him composed the soundtrack for this game.
* ''VideoGame/StarFox'' used various folk melodies in the Out of this Dimension level.
* The [=PlayStation=] game ''{{Wild9}}'' using "Amazing Grace" on its Game Over screen. The somber mood is soon broken up by the laughter of the little green aliens you spend most of the game fighting...
* ''[[http://www.atarimania.com/detail_soft.php?MENU=8&VERSION_ID=3661 Nasen Jack]]'', a German game for Atari8BitComputers, played "Greensleeves" when the player collected all the letters in the word EXTRA.
** "Greensleeves" is also played throughout ''Black Lamp'', a British game for Atari 8-bit computers.
* In ''Zool 2'' for Amiga and DOS, the first level is named "Swan Lake". Guess what the background music's a remix of...
* Hudson Soft's Famicom game ''Binary Land'' uses Erik Satie's "Je Te Veux" as its background music, and [[Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven's]] "Ode to Joy" as the victory music.
* The arcade and NES game ''City Connection'' uses Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1 as its background music... but in a rock arrangement. Even better, though, when one runs over a cat in the game, a little polka plays; the Japanese name of that tune translates as, appropriately enough, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Flohwalzer "I stepped on the cat"]].
* Richard Wellington, the primary witness for the first case of the second ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' game, has Bach's ''Music/ToccataAndFugueInDMinor'' as his cell phone ringtone. Before that, in the same case, it's used for major effect in the ''Phoenix Wright's'' nightmare, and later, when the witness [[spoiler:is found as the definitive culprit of the murder]].
* For ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', composer Tappi Iwadere tried to do this to "The Winter Road" by Georgey Syridov, using it as the games' main theme. After ten years of Metal Gear Solid games, the song turned out to be not as public domain as the composer thought...
* ''{{Beatmania}} IIDX'' is home to "V," a remix of the Winter Movement of Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons".
** Bemani loves this one. Consider: any "Classic" song in ''Pop'n Music'' (all medleys), any "Classic Party" song in ''Guitar Freaks/Drummania'' (ditto), "End of the Century (Beethoven's "Ode to Joy"), and last but not least, "Kakumei" (Chopin's ''Revolutionary Etude'', and a damn good translation pun - "kakumei" means "revolution(ary)", and that it's the OneHitPointWonder boss on a ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' game too).
** And then you have songs that subvert this by [[NewerThanTheyThink actually being original works]], like "A" and "Piano Concerto No. 1 'Anti-Ares'". The latter's supposed composer, Virkato Wakhmaninov [[spoiler:(an alias of Jun Wakita, one of Konami's current in-house music artists)]], even has a brief fictional biography about him.
* ''Return Fire'' uses "Dies Irae" by Verdi, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Grieg, "Mars" (from the ''Planets'') by Holst, and "Music/RideOfTheValkyries" by Wagner for its soundtrack.
* ''VideoGame/HamtaroHamHamHeartbreak'' has "Moonlight Sonata" and "Waltz of the Flowers" as unlockable Ham-Jam themes. /Its predecessor, ''[[VideoGame/HamtaroHamHamsUnite Ham-Hams Unite!]]'', uses Ravel's "Bolero" and "Csikós Post" (the latter referred to as "Postman's Rush").
* During the last two levels of ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty World at War'', one can hear a German military march (the ''Königgrätzer Marsch'', to be exact) playing in the background in specific areas. Considering that it's been around since 1866, it's almost certainly in the public domain by now.
** The game's original soundtrack also incorporates some real music; the song played at the very end of the Soviet campaign's last mission incorporates a snippet of the ''Hymn of the Soviet Union''.
** The popular ''Dies Irae'' also pops up briefly in the mission "Eviction".
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4'' has a portion of the Soviet anthem play when you win a match as the Spetsnaz.
* Most Paradox Interactive games up to and including ''Victoria'' had soundtrack consisting mostly of classical music. ''Hearts of Iron'''s intro theme is "Music/RideOfTheValkyries", while [=EU2's=] soundtrack is filled by somewhat bizarre period music. (including one involving whips, and the infamous [[EarWorm falalalalan]])
* In ''BanjoKazooie,'' Grunty's theme (and thus, the music heard everywhere through her lair, the HubLevel) is actually a minor-key version of "Teddy Bears' Picnic". Since both TheHero, Banjo, and the DamselInDistress, Tootie, are bears, it's actually fitting... if not rather odd.
* The Konami game ''MagiciansQuestMysteriousTimes[=/=]Enchanted Folk and the School of Wizardry'' takes this almost to the point of abuse. Almost ''all'' of the overworld and event music is based on existing classical pieces, ranging from the well-known (like "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" and "Beautiful Dreamer"), there are also some lesser-known oddballs thrown in (such as the "Love" theme being Debussy's "Petite Suite"). However, the game also provides a large assortment of original compositions for you to play on your in-game instruments, so, there you go.
* ''WiiMusic'' had a soundtrack composed almost entirely of public domain songs.
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown 6'' uses Sousa's ''"Stars and Stripes Forever"'' as a background theme for the USA stage, rearranged as a military march. The arranged version adds the national anthem ["The Star-Spangled Banner"] in the beginning, then goes into a rock version of "Stars and Stripes Forever".
* The ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' Believe ad campaign (at least the 90-second one that had no live action) used Chopin's Prelude No. 15 in D-Flat Major, though all other music from the game and ads were original compositions
* The original 1980s version of ''VideoGame/SidMeiersPirates'' featured short snippets of classical music to accompany certain events. Many came from Handel's Water Music. For the 1990s version, ''Pirates! Gold'', music was taken from the works of [[JohannSebastianBach J.S. Bach]] (and credited to him). The 2004 remake features loads of classical music, with several "cover" versions for each tune. Firaxis Games were developing ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} IV'' at the same time, and so several tunes ended up in both games.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry 2'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDZeCtpEnxY theme for Haunted Hall]] borrows from "Night on Bald Mountain" in places.
* The music played for Megaman Juno's final form in the first ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'' is a [[NightmareFuel rather chilling]] remix of Johann Bach's ''Little Fugue
** The music played while in the Sulfur Bottom in the sequel is Vivaldi's Spring.
* The Famicom/NES game ''Tetrastar: The Fighter'' uses several classical music pieces, including Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" and Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance".
* The boss music in ''Castle of Deceit'' is the fugue movement of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue". The main action themes also sound like Bach pieces.
* The game ''Jigsaw'' on the ''{{Action52}}'' cartridge uses "Long Long Ago" for its theme.
* In the "Waterloo World" level of ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', the "1812 Overture" can be heard.
* The Sachen game ''Pyramid'' (a ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' knockoff) uses "The Streets of Cairo" (aka "There's a Place in France").
* The DOS first-person wireframe ''VideoGame/{{Pac-Man}}'' clone ''3-Demon'' uses several Scott Joplin songs, including "The Entertainer", for its soundtrack.
** Speaking of Scott Joplin, the arcade game Domino Man uses ''Maple Leaf Rag'' as its main gameplay theme.
* The entire soundtrack of ''LittleKingsStory'' is classical music.
* Most of the soundtrack to ''VideoGame/TheOregonTrail'' games is country folk songs.
* ''{{Runman}}'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5YvU5XYsYQ soundtrack]].
* The Midway ArcadeGame ''Satan's Hollow'' incorporates Wagner's "Music/RideOfTheValkyries" in various places.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tapper}}/Root Beer Tapper'' features "Oh! Susanna" in the first level.
** "Oh! Susanna" also plays in the arcade game ''VideoGame/{{Pooyan}}'', when Mama rescues her piglets for the second time.
* The NES version of ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' uses "Sakura, Sakura", a traditional Japanese folk song for Piston Honda's ring entrance. This is referenced in the Wii game (where he was renamed "Piston Hondo").
** "Ride of the Valkyries" was used as the themes to Von Kaiser and a couple other boxers.
** Glass Joe's entrance theme is ''La Marsellaise'', the French National Anthem.
** Don Flamenco's theme is an excerpt from the Georges Bizet's opera Theatre/{{Carmen}}.
** Soda Popinski's theme is "Song of the Volga Boatman".
* The arcade game ''VideoGame/{{Battlezone|1980}}'' plays a snippet of the "1812 Overture" when you make the high score list.
* ''VideoGame/CrystalCastles'' plays two different parts of the "Nutcracker March". The one that plays depends on whether or not Bentley Bear or the enemies get the last gem.
* Depending on high the player gets, Beethoven's Fifth (specifically the famous four-note opening) is one of the themes plays when you make the high score list in ''Stargate'' (AKA: ''VideoGame/{{Defender}} II)''.
* The NES game ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic: Secret of the Inner Sanctum'' uses a surprisingly-long arrangement of Pachelbel's ''Canon in D'' on its title screen.
* ''VideoGame/TheBattleOfOlympus'' plays Bach's ''Toccata and Fugue in D minor'' inside the Temple.
* Super Famicom game ''Violinist of Hameln'''s soundtrack consists mostly (if not entirely) of classical music -- most immediately apparent, Bach's ''Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'' is the town theme.
* The Space tribe's theme in ''VideoGame/{{Lemmings}} 2'' is J. Strauss's ''Blue Danube'', a ShoutOut to ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.
* Most of the soundtrack to ''FlowerSunAndRain'' consists of pop/techno remixes of classical and jazz pieces; most of the chapters in the game are even named after the music that appears in them.
* Successful completion of each level in ''VideoGame/{{Peggle}}'' is met with a rousing rendition of "Ode to Joy". Renfield's theme is "Music/ToccataAndFugueInDMinor", and "Morning Mood" plays when the game is launched.
* The NES version of ''[[VideoGame/CaptainComic The Adventures of Captain Comic]]'' has a soundtrack consisting of badly mixed classical music.
* ''Mega Blast'', an old arcade shoot-em-up from Taito, has an FM synth arrangement of Chopin's piano piece, Fantasie Impromptu in C-sharp. It doesn't show up during the game itself, but in the attract mode. Beethoven's Ode to Joy accompanies the ending cast roll.
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL5P7MlXX4I&feature=related New World Symphony]] plays during the boss battle against Augus in ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath''.
* ''VideoGame/AntarcticAdventure'' uses the "Skater's Waltz" as its in-game music.
* ''VideoGame/{{Miner 2049er}}'' during its intro plays a version of "Clementine," a song alluded to by the game's title.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'', while hailing from a series known for having [[AwesomeMusic/KingdomHearts its very own share of awesome tracks]] in the first place, has three pieces of classic music in its soundtrack because of one of its worlds representing ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}''[[note]] (for those curious, the name of the world is "Symphony of Sorcery")[[/note]]. [[note]] The tracks are ''Night On Bald Mountain'', returning from ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI'' [[spoiler: as well as the boss associated with said song, Chernabog]], ''L'apprenti Sorcier'', the well-known theme used for the famous sequence featuring the army of brooms used as BGM for Sora's playthrough of the world, and finally, ''The Nutcracker Suite'', which does the same for Riku. In order to avoid abrupt changes in the BGM, there are no dinstinctions between "Field BGM" and "Battle BGM", and to keep the feeling of a "musical experience", in that world, [[SilenceIsGolden musical, silly sound effect replace the usual ones, including the characters' in-battle]] VoiceGrunting. [[/note]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Catherine}}'' features ''lots'' of classical music for its puzzle segments, including "Jupiter" from Holst's "Planets Suite", Bach's "Tocatta en Fugue", and Dvořák's "From the New World". Most of the bosses use "Baba Yaga's Hut" from Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" (except Doom's Bride and Shadow Vincent, which use a piece by Atlus composer Shoji Meguro, and the final boss, which uses Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude").
* Combine that with SoundtrackDissonance in ''VideoGame/BrainDead13'': In the Conservatory Room, as Lance tries to avoid getting strangled by [[DemonicDummy Mongo the Marionette]] or pounced upon by Fritz, the music played [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=munJ_A-f9TY#t=00m44s here]] kinda sounds like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2ISRMSIyX8 "The Trepak Dance"]] from ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'' by Creator/PyotrIlyichTchaikovsky.
** Also combined with SoundtrackDissonance in ''VideoGame/DragonsLair II: Time Warp'': The soundtrack that plays entirely in the background of Level 5 while you avoid getting eaten by a fire-breathing cat is the first part of ''Symphony No. 5 in C minor (Allegro con brio)'' by Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven. This also counts as a GeniusBonus when you notice that the song number is the same as the level number.
* Here's another trope also combined with SoundtrackDissonance and StandardSnippet: In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'', SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker's more theatrical moments of cruelty are often underscored by classical music typical of cartoons - his "Sleigh Ride" in the Royal Hotel ballroom plays a warped organ version of Julius FučĂ­k's "Entry of the Gladiators", he fussily selects the detonator for one of his bombs to Music/GioachinoRossini's "The Barber of Seville", and [[spoiler:his hallucinatory fight in the comedy club]] has an arranged section of the overture from Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie".
* In addition to Music/TheCancanSong used during the actual levels, MrDo also features Beethoven's Turkish March (Also known as the Theme from Series/ElChavoDelOcho, and not to be confused with Mozart's Turkish March) in the results screen that appears after clear three "[[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming scenes]]".
* Mr. Passion, a mid-boss in Chapter 2 of ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', is a ghostly composer, so, naturally, his battle theme is comprised of a medley of various classical music excerpts.[[note]]starting with the First Movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, moving into Etude for Ghosts (a battle theme in the game which seems to be based on the Third Movement of Piano Concerto No. 2 by Saint-Saëns), then into Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, and finally into Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor before looping[[/note]] [[GuideDangIt If you know]] when to come back and challenge him again as [[BonusBoss Lord Passion]], he'll have a brand new battle theme with different classical pieces.[[note]]starting again with Beethoven's 5th, it'll then move into ''Toccata and Fugue in D Minor'' by Bach, then into Handel's Messiah, and finally the First Movement of Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Spring[[/note]]
** In addition to that, there's also "Leder's Gymnopédie", which is actually Erik Satie's Gymnopédie N*1, used to great effect when [[spoiler: Leder tells Lucas and his friends about the true history of the world]].
* The dancing girls in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' perform their routine to Khatchaturian's "Sabre Dance".
* The main theme of ''[[VideoGame/EscapeVelocity EV Nova]]'' is "Mars, the Bringer of War" from Music/GustavHolst's ''The Planets Suite''.
* Some of the background music in ''VideoGame/{{Thwaite}}'' appears at first to be {{Suspiciously Similar Song}}s to parts of the ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' soundtrack. A listen with a classically trained ear reveals that it's actually pieced together from Beethoven's ''Sonata Pathetique''.
* ''VideoGame/EternalSonata'' features several Chopin pieces for the segments detailing his life. A remix of "Revolutionary Etude" serves as the game's final boss theme.
* The Artdink game ''Arctic'' uses the Rondo from Mozart's Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 570 (at least in the Famicom version).
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nARiGDW9X0M The trailer]] for the Franchise/CthulhuMythos[=/=]UsefulNotes/WorldWarI themed TurnBasedTactics game ''Videogame/CallOfCthulhuTheWastedLand'' begins with the chorus of "It's A Long Way To Tipperary", a song from this era which was very famous in British ranks. The main menu's theme is a loop of this chorus; both version are accompanied by some subtle creepy sound effects in background. [[spoiler: The ending credits are also set to this chorus, but without the creepy sound effects.]]
** The game's official soundtrack included a cover of the full song.
* ''VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram'''s main theme -heard on the start screen and in most official trailer videos- was composed especially for the game, but all the other background tracks are royalty-free library music.
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' is a slightly strange case; the ''official'' background music is not an example, being composed and performed by the developer himself, but a popular third-party sound engine called SoundSense uses this trope rather extensively.
* In the old Hudson Soft game ''Challenger'', the Stop The Express stage uses an upbeat take on Franz Schubert's "Military March" for its background music, mixed with train whistle sound effects. (Some may know it better as the theme for Drill Man's stage in ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity''.)
* In the [=GameCube=] ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'', "Auld Lang Syne" plays on your way home from the New Year's celebration.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* ''VisualNovel/GSenjouNoMaou'' uses "Air on a G-String" as a motif and the title screen music, as evidenced by the title ("The Devil on G-String"). "Songs My Mother Taught Me" and "Music/RideOfTheValkyries" are also used as background music for Kanon's figure-skating competition. In fact, the former is an important motif and the title for Kanon's chapter.
** Almost of the background music in GSenjouNoMaou are remixed versions of various classical pieces.
* ''VisualNovel/CorpseParty Book of Shadows'' Moreshige's theme of love in Book of Shadows is a slightly lower pitched version of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* The Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven is featured in ''[[DirtyPotter Dirty the Pooh and the Hundred-Acre Shitpile, Chapter Three]]'' when Pooh [[ImAHumanitarian eats Piglet alive]].
* CharlieTheUnicorn: The Candy Mountain Song is sung to the tune of "Clarinet Polka".
* Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}: A {{Vaudeville}}-era song by Eddie Morton, "I'm a Member of the Midnight Crew," is sampled in "Black" and later covered in Volume 8.
* Web animation "HalfFull" utilizes the 1911 song "Billy (She always dreams of Billy)for its end credits theme tune.
* Chopin's Minute Waltz plays in the background on ''WebVideo/CookingWithDog'', a cooking show hosted by a Poodle. The piece is also called the Puppy Waltz.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic hilariously uses the "Storm" segment of the William Tell Overture while he's destroying the ''Film/TheNeverEndingStory III'' DVD and going berserk after playing the Blues Brothers SNES game.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''TheRenAndStimpyShow'' frequently used Romantic Era music in the background; Tchiakovsky's [[Theatre/TheNutcracker Nutcracker Suite]] and Dvořák's Symphony #9 "From the New World" were particularly popular.
** The yodeling song used in the title card for "The Boy Who Cried Rat" was later used in ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyB'' episode "Bee Afraid" and ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants''' "Truth or Square".
** Pretty much every music cue/background song from ''Ren and Stimpy'' has been used in many other cartoons, SpongeBobSquarePants being the most notable.
* The [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner Road Runner's]] theme in ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' is from Smetana's ''Bartered Bride''. A great deal of WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes music are actually classical tunes. Examples include tunes from Rossini's ''Barber of Seville'' and Liszt's second Hungarian Rhapsody, and FelixMendelssohn's "Spring Song".
** Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave" was always played when the Mynah Bird showed up in Creator/ChuckJones' "Inki" series.
** Franz Liszt's second Hungarian Rhapsody just might be the most used work in WesternAnimation. WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes used it in "Rhapsody Rabbit", ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' used it in "Cat Concerto" (these two were so similar, each studio accused the other of plagiarism), ''WoodyWoodpecker'' used it, and it was used in the DonaldDuck/Daffy Dueling Pianos skit at the Ink & Paint Club in ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''.
*** [[MemeticMutation KILL THE WABBIT! KILL THE WABBIT! KILL THE WABBIT!]]
* ''TheSmurfs'' has this so smurfing much. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smurfs_%28Hanna-Barbera_series%29#Use_of_classical_music See The Other Wiki for more details.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/RoughnecksStarshipTroopersChronicles'' uses a remix of Beethoven's "'Pathetique' Sonata #8 Op. 13".
* Disney's ''MickeyMouse [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQDD52itP-s Symphony Hour]]'' (1942) is about Mickey conducting an orchestra that plays Suppe's Light Cavalry Overture. The rehearsal suits the trope fully. while for the main concert, the instruments become a problem and the soundtrack is a bit... strange.
* The [[OriginalVideoAnimation made for video]] ''MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers'' had songs with music from various classical pieces, including Beethoven's ''Fifth Symphony'', Offenbach's ''Music/TheCancanSong'', and Tchaikovsky's ''Dance of the Reed Flutes''. The finale took place during an opera [[AnachronismStew made up of selections of operettas by]] Creator/GilbertAndSullivan.
* Disney's version of ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' uses music from Tchaikovsky's ballet version of the same story.
* ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}''. (The movie wasn't a success when first released in 1940; this was acknowledged in one edition of ''The Man Who Came to Dinner'' which had Sheridan Whiteside consoling Walt Disney over the phone: "Don't worry about ''Fantasia''. It wasn't your fault... Beethoven hasn't had a hit for years.")
** Also ''Disney/{{Fantasia 2000}}'', though several of the pieces are actually still under copyright.
* ''TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' has made great use of public domain music, mostly in ending credits, to play with a theme (holidays were the most frequent). One episode had Spidey beat up bad guys to Mozart. [[RuleOfCool Yes, it was awesome!]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' uses a portion of Vivaldi's ''Spring'' from the Four Seasons suite, a version of Johann Strauss' ''Blue Danube Waltz'', Jacques Offenbach's ''Infernal Galop'' (Music/TheCancanSong) and a number of others.
** Also, the NFL song "The Lineman" is probably better known as the theme of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy than its original use.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' incorporates both "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and "Flight of the Bumblebee" in the opening theme.
* One of the songs on the ''WesternAnimation/StreetFighter'' cartoon's soundtrack is a rendition of "Music/{{Toccata and Fugue in D Minor}}", which notably plays over M. Bison's infamous "[[MemeticMutation YES! YES!]]" scene.
* While they did a few original songs (most notably, "Witch Doctor"), the 1960s-era [[Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks Chipmunks]] otherwise did mostly public domain songs, albeit their own personal takes on them (e.g., "Old Macdonald Cha-Cha-Cha").
* Invoked/parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' when Roger joins Steve's band and plays rock n roll version of "Jimmy Cracked Corn" and "Ba Ba Black Sheep". He even goes on to say they have over a hundred hits already.
* In episode 33, "May The Best Pet Win!" of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipisMagic'', "Music/RideOfTheValkyries" plays when Rainbow Dash races the candidates for her pet in Ghastly Gorge.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'': ''WakkosWish'' has a musical number sung to the tune of the second "Hungarian Rhapsody".
** Being a nod to the classic shorts (as was WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures in a way), a lot of the background music in Animaniacs had nods to popular pieces of the Romantic Era, and a huge portion of the songs were based on classical pieces too. Making a full list would take too way, way too long.
* ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' was known to use public domain music for its background score. A piece composed by Charles Williams for BBC radio, "The Devil's Gallop" was used in two episodes' chase scenes (as well as two episodes of ''Monty Python'').
** When Wufgang Bach makes his appearance in "Play It Again, Wufgang," he is performing ''Toccata And Fugue In D Minor'' on the organ.
* In the most memorable part of ''WesternAnimation/ABoyNamedCharlieBrown'', Schroeder plays most of the Second Movement (Adagio cantabile) of Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven's ''Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13'' (''Sonata Pathétique''), and during that time, many {{Disney Acid Sequence}}s occur, which is pretty creepy.
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