American composer George Gershwin in 1925. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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The Octet, which Mendelssohn wrote when he was only 16, continues to inspire with its originality and genius. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Simplicity, it turns out, is the secret to the success of Handel's ever-popular "Hallelujah Chorus." istockphoto hide caption

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

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Mourners at a funeral Getty Images hide caption

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Mazurka Journal des Demoiselles/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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

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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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