Works by Well-Known Composers

You may recognize this tune from the 1957 broadway musical The Music Man. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) composed Minuet in G, WoO 10, No.2 originally for orchestra, but it was lost and only an arrangement for piano remained. Beethoven was a German composer and pianist, widely recognized as one of the greatest and most influential composers of the Western classical tradition. Despite his loss of hearing in his late 20s, his catalog of over 700 works have been regarded as genius, and some people believe his latest works - when he had lost most all of his hearing - are his most important.

Not very many of Irving Berlin's (1888-1989) popular songs were biographical, but "What'll I Do" certainly was. Written by Berlin when his fiancée and eventual wife was sent away by disapproving parents in 1923, "What'll I Do" tells a story of a person longing for their lover. If you're a fan of the 1980's sitcom The Golden Girls, you might recognize the tune from when Dorothy, played by Bea Arthur, sang it in the episode titled "Journey to the Center of Attention". 

Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849) was a very famous Polish composer and virtuoso pianist who wrote primarily for solo piano. He wrote a cycle, or set, of 24 Preludes in 1838, one for each major and minor key. The recording above is of No. 15 of this cycle, his Opus 28. Known as the "Raindrop" prelude, it is one of Chopin's most famous works. It is so known because of the repetitive Ab note throughout the piece, which sounds to many listeners like raindrops.


Click the items below to see some other works by composers you might know, or check out our catalog of rolls on the MPAL website to see if we have works by a specific composer.

  • Magic Flute, Overture (Die Zauberflote)
    Recording of "Magic Flute, Overture (Die Zauberflote)", composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, arranged by Ferd[inand] Beyer. Perforated roll intended for use on player pianos.
  • Rhapsody In Blue (Part I)
    Recording of "Rhapsody In Blue (Part I)", composed and performed by George Gershwin. Perforated roll intended for use on player pianos.
  • Etude, Op. 25, No. 9 (Butterfly)
    Recording of "Etude, Op. 25, No. 9 (Butterfly)", composed by Frederic Chopin. Perforated roll intended for use on player pianos.
  • Etude ("Butterfly") op. 25, No. 9 in G Flat Major
    Recording of "Etude ("Butterfly") op. 25, No. 9 in G Flat Major", composed by Frederic Chopin and performed by Ignace Jan Paderewski. Perforated roll intended for use on player pianos.
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