What Makes a Scary Song So Scary?


How does a classical piece of music turn into “a scary song?” Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor originated as an organ piece, written to be enjoyed by the people and demonstrated Bach’s clever sense of humor. Later, it was orchestrated and became a staple in Hollywood horror movies.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor was used to score horror films in the silent movie era. It was then heard in films such as 1931’s Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, The Black Cat, and The Phantom of the Opera, played on an organ by the phantom himself.

The song moved on to be featured in Walt Disney’s Fantasia, but by then it was already known as scary. So that’s how a fun classical piece becomes “a scary song!”

If you didn’t hear it enough this Halloween weekend, check out the full orchestrated song below:

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