Hard-to-Find Classical Music

A Few Tips to Make Your Classical Music Search Easier

close-up cello with sheet music

Mohamad Ridzuan Abdul Rashid/EyeEm/Getty Images

Let's face it, classical music can be hard to find. Where are you supposed to start searching for music? What if you don't know the name of the piece or the composer? Or worse, what if you don't know both? Well, here are a few tips to help you find that hard to find classical music.

Search Amazon or Barnes and Noble

In most cases, the title of the classical music work and/or composer is known. The easiest thing to do is to search Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Most of the classical music albums have 30-second or 1-minute sound clips available for you to listen. If you are looking for specific recordings or variations, you'll most likely come across them using this method of search.

Search Classical and Opera Music Used in Movies

For many beginners, this is a classic example of discovering classical music. You hear a song in your favorite movie, but you have no idea of the name of the piece or the composer. Most of the websites listed in the link above have the option to search for the music by the title of the movie. How simple! In most cases, you will find the classical music that you are looking for.

Visit Your Local Public or College Library

Another great place to look (if you don't have the option of getting on the Internet in Tip 2) is your local public or college library. At the library, you are free to listen to the entire piece of music instead of a 30-second clip. This may be more beneficial to you if you are still unsure. Also, many colleges and universities, especially those with music departments, will have a music reference section and a support staff to help you in your endeavor.

Ask Directly

If you hear the piece on the radio station, on a website, or in a department store, call them and find out what piece it is. Nine times out of 10, they will be able to help you. I've had many successes using this method. For instance, I really liked the music played on the San Francisco Ballet's website a few months ago. I sent them a simple e-mail and followed up with a phone call. A week later, I had the name of the piece and the album it's on.


If all else fails, don't worry. Just keep your ears open; it's bound to cross your path again someday. On the bright side, you will surely find many great pieces of classical music you wouldn't have before had you not started searching in the first place.