Robert Schumann's music evokes the image of a child's dreams. iStock hide caption

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Hear What Makes Schumann's 'Traumerei' So Great

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Concerto in Rhythm with Tap-Dance Revival

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Actress and singer Judy Garland wearing as Dorothy from director Victor Fleming's film, The Wizard of Oz. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Hear 'Over the Rainbow' And What Makes It So Great

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America's amber waves of grain inspired teacher Katharine Lee Bates to write the poem later used in the song "America the Beautiful." Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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America the Beautiful

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Verdi trumps Shakespeare by inserting a hauntingly beautiful "Ave Maria" into his operatic version of Othello. Universal Classics hide caption

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Universal Classics

Hear What Makes 'Ave Maria' From Verdi's 'Otello' Great

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An attention-grabbing opening can be the key to a successful composition. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Hear What Makes A Great Musical Opening

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Send in the Clowns

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Composer Steve Reich's Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ has a percussive motor that never stops. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Hear What Makes Steve Reich's Music So Great

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Aaron Copland captured the sound of America's wide open spaces with surprisingly simple techniques. iStock hide caption

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Hear What Makes 'Appalachian Spring' So Great

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Journal des Demoiselles/Wikimedia Commons

Mazurka for piano No. 13 in A minor, Op. 17/4, CT. 63

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Czech Composer Antonin Dvorak (1841 - 1904). Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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From The Heartland: Dvorak's 'American' Quartet

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Czech composer Leos Janacek sent a non-stop stream of more than 700 love letters to a much younger, married woman; she inspired many of his best works. iStock hide caption

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Hear What Makes Janacek's String Quartet No. 2 So Great

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Sonata for violin & piano No. 9 in A major ("Kreutzer"), Op. 47

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Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hear What Makes Berlin's 'Cheek To Cheek' So Great

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Hear What Makes Barber's 'Adagio For Strings' So Great

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