You Gotta Know


You Gotta Know These Musical Works

The following table lists the 50 most-frequently referenced works of music in NAQT questions as of November 1, 2007. While you really gotta know their creators, these are also some of the works about which more substantive questions are written, so teams should be prepared for questions on their style, instrumentation, performance, lyrics, key, program, and circumstances of creation.

This is an update of an earlier You Gotta Know article.

RankTitleGenreCreatorDateFreq.
1CarmenOperaGeorges Bizet1845147
2AidaOperaGiuseppe Verdi1871146
3The Ring of the NibelungOpera(Wilhelm) Richard Wagner1876122
4MessiahOratorioGeorge Frideric Handel1741102
5Symphony No. 9, "Choral"SymphonyLudwig van Beethoven1823100
6Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral"SymphonyLudwig van Beethoven180897
7Symphonie fantastiqueSymphony(Louis-)Hector Berlioz183092
8The NutcrackerBalletPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky189291
9The Rite of SpringBalletIgor (Fyodorovich) Stravinsky191390
10Madama ButterflyOperaGiacomo Puccini190489
11Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"SymphonyLudwig van Beethoven180486
12The Barber of SevilleOperaGioacchino (Antonio) Rossini181685
13The Magic FluteOperaWolfgang Amadeus Mozart179184
14Appalachian SpringBalletAaron Copland194483
15RigolettoOperaGiuseppe Verdi185182
16Don GiovanniOperaWolfgang Amadeus Mozart178779
17La BohèmeOperaGiacomo Puccini189678
18FidelioOperaLudwig van Beethoven180577
19The Four SeasonsConcertoAntonio Vivaldi172573
20Rhapsody in BlueCompositionGeorge Gershwin192472
21The Marriage of FigaroOperaWolfgang Amadeus Mozart178472
22West Side StoryMusicalLeonard Bernstein195768
23SiegfriedOpera(Wilhelm) Richard Wagner187666
24Moonlight SonataSonataLudwig van Beethoven180163
25The PlanetsSuiteGustav(us Theodore von) Holst191861
26Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique"SymphonyPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky189360
27Porgy and BessOperaGeorge Gershwin193560
28William TellOperaGioacchino Rossini180459
29Peter and the WolfCompositionSergei (Sergeyevich) Prokofiev193659
30The Song of the EarthSymphonyGustav Mahler190959
31Swan LakeBalletPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky187758
32The Flying DutchmanOpera(Wilhelm) Richard Wagner184358
33LohengrinOpera(Wilhelm) Richard Wagner185057
34BoléroComposition(Joseph) Maurice Ravel192855
35The Phantom of the OperaMusicalAndrew Lloyd Webber191054
36ToscaOperaGiacomo Puccini190054
37TurandotOperaGiacomo Puccini176253
38La TraviataOperaGiuseppe Verdi185353
39Pictures at an ExhibitionCompositionModest (Petrovich) Mussorgsky187453
40A German RequiemSacred Choral WorkJohannes Brahms186851
41Symphony No. 94, "Surprise"Symphony(Franz) Joseph Haydn179150
42Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"SymphonyWolfgang Amadeus Mozart178850
43Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"SymphonyAntonín (Leopold) Dvorák189349
44The MikadoMusicalArthur Sullivan (music)
William S. Gilbert (words)
188548
45My Fair LadyMusicalFrederick Loewe195647
46FalstaffOperaGiuseppe Verdi189347
47Boris GodunovOperaModest (Petrovich) Mussorgsky186947
48CatsMusicalAndrew Lloyd Webber198246
49Enigma VariationsCompositionEdward (William) Elgar189946
50SalomeOperaRichard (Georg) Strauss190545

NAQT has complete lists of the works of literature, non-fiction, art, and music that have been mentioned in its questions, sorted by frequency, available for purchase by coaches or teams for use as study guides.

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