Ba da da da da bididi ba da da da da da BWAAAAA 

I am no athlete but damn, I love me some workout playlists. I use them when I clean my house or to energetically soundtrack my walks to the grocery store…

Like I said, I am no athlete.

But now it is the Winter Olympics. A precious time when all Americans suddenly become experts in sports they completely ignore for three out of four years, and everyone tries and fails to land a triple salchow in their living room.

(For the love of God: DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME)

Luckily, I have some friends who were willing to give me input on what athletic types like/want when they work out, and I tried to keep the BPMs between 90-180 increasing as the playlist goes along so you can skip ahead to wherever you like your BPM or whatever athletic people do*. At the end, there are two MAGNIFICENT triumphal fanfares to send you off as a true hero of sport, or at least, a sporty attitude.


Here’s the list, Spotify link** at the bottom

Olympic Level Workout Fodder

  1. Mlada Suite: 5. Cortège –Rimsky-Korsakov  (So you can Olympically process into whatever you’re taking on and/or warm-up)
  2. Peer Gynt: 8. In the Hall of the Mountain King – Grieg
  3. Die Walküre (The Valkyries): Act III “Hojotoho!” – Wagner
  4. Sylvia: Act III “Cortège de Bacchus” – Delibes
  5. 2-Part Inventions, BWV 779: Invention no. 8 in F major – J.S. Bach
  6. Violin Concerto in D Minor, No 3. Allegro, ma non tanto – Sibelius
  7. Ercole sul Termodonte (Hercules in Thermadon): “Non fia della vittoria” – Vivaldi (May no cloud of cruelty ever overshadow the pride of victory.The glory of winning is enough, and that glory shall be mine.)
  8. I Masnadieri (The Bandits): “Carlo vive?” – Verdi (lyrics are…less applicable here)
  9. Petrushka: Russian Dance – Stravinsky
  10. Swan Lake: Act III, No 21. “Spanish Dance” – Tchaikovsky                                          
  11. Concerto in F: III. Allegro agitato – Gershwin
  12. Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, 4. Finale – Tchaikovsky
  13. 4 Dance Episodes from Rodeo: Hoe-Down – Copland
  14. Violin Concerto No 2. The American Four Seasons: Movement III– Glass
  15. The Rite of Spring, Part 2: The Sacrifice, III. “Glorification of the Chosen One”– Stravinsky (…real quick…everyone knows about THIS VIDEO right?)
  16. Swan Lake (yes, again. It’s peppy as hell) Act II, No 13 Coda: Allegro vivace
  17. Symphony No. 6 in C Major, “Dollar Symphony”: III. Vivace – Atterberg
  18. A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture – Mendelssohn (if you don’t pretend to be a fairy during this music, you’re doing it wrong)
  19. Die Fledermaus (The Bat): “Im Feuerstrom der Reben” (“In the firestorm from the vines”) (That hyperbole is about champagne as is the whole thing. There is a *primo* fist pump moment in each verse too. DIY instructions at the link)
  20. Double Bass Concerto “The Wolf” III. Allegro vivace – Tan Dun                                   
  21. Symphony No 25 in G Minor, I. Allegro con brio – Mozart
  22. Auf der Jagd (On the Hunt) – J. Strauss II (There are “gunshots” on this so fair warning, it might be confusing if you’re training for a biathalon while listening to this)
  23. Flight of the Bumblebee – Rimsky-Korsakov (I went with the violin version, but you could have an orchestral version, a brass version, a choral version, a flute versiona piano version
  24. Michelangelo ’70 – Piazzolla
  25. Concerto Fantasy for 2 Timpanists and Organ (arr. M. Lortz for 2 Timp & Wind Ensemble) III. – Glass
  26.  “West Side Story” Symphonic Dances: 4. Mambo – Bernstein
  27. Estancia Ballet Suite: 1. “Land Workers” – Ginastera

    (The rest of the playlist is longer form, less regularly rhythmed pieces, but  pieces that people informed me they actually exercise to
  28. Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville): Overture – Rossini
  29. Marche Slave – Tchaikovksy
  30. Romeo and Juliet: Act 1: “Dance of the Knights” –Prokofiev
  31. Symphony No. 2 in C Minor “Resurrection”: 1. Allegro maestoso. mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck (with serious and solemn expression throughout) – Mahler
  32. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor: IV. Allegro – Beethoven

  33. Sinfonietta: 1. Allegretto-Allegro-Maestoso – Janácek
  34.  *super secret bonus track*

Good luck to all of you actually training your bodies to be strong and impressive, and a special shoutout to the rest of us participating in the daily Olympics of the modern world who just need some motivating music. Heck, maybe I’ll even do a pushup today.

*If I am really on top of it all I hope to have some shorter, genre/era specific playlists too so if you’re dying for a minimalist/baroque/opera/20th century percussion ensemble workout playlist LEMME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! There are some very nice viagra salesbots down there  you can meet too.

***Making youtube playlists takes forever so if anyone actually wants one, please be the first non-sex-robot to leave us a comment and I will make it just for you, until then, Spotify takes the gold.

A Brief Introduction to: Counterpoint!

Here at Canon Fodder, one of the most common reasons we hear that people don’t like classical music is that they don’t know anything about it, and therefore that they won’t understand it. The truth is, though, that even people who consider themselves newbies know more about classical music than they realize. For one thing, classical works are much more present in people’s everyday lives than they might think. From movie and television soundtracks to commercials to even many pop songs, you have probably been exposed to more of the “great works” than the average person who was alive when they were written.

At the end of this post, you will be as fancy-shmancy as this cat!

Much of pop music today relies on the same concepts of harmony and composition that were established over hundreds of years of classical music1. So when we talk about some fancy-schmancy classical music concept like counterpoint, it’s important to remember that you probably know more about it already than you think, and you have definitely already heard it. I’m going to give you the basics of counterpoint so you can impress your friends and co-workers at happy hour, and show you how it’s still being used today — come for the Renaissance, stay for Bob’s Burgers!

Continue reading “A Brief Introduction to: Counterpoint!”

Introduction to the Orchestra Instruments

This is post intended for newbies but please don’t ever feel like you’re dumb for not knowing instruments. It’s something I’ve heard people say before and I am here to tell you that identifying instruments by sight and sound is both something so simple children can do it and also something I still occasionally screw up (sometimes oboes sound like clarinets man, it happens).

Continue reading “Introduction to the Orchestra Instruments”

How to use this blog

Hello you!

Here’s a handy little guide to using this blog! We started this blog because we both love classical music and want to share it with the world. And we mean the whole world, from classical musicians to metal-heads to top 40 devotees and everything in-between.

The classical music “canon” is simply massive and even the professional musicians we know are constantly discovering new music, or realize they’ve gotten into a listening rut. For everyone else, it can be baffling how to even get started listening to classical music. People have asked us what piece they should listen to to get started…which is about the same as someone asking “Hey I’ve never read a book, which one should I read to know if I like reading books?”


Here’s what we propose. We’ll give you a musical walk through in layman’s terms (and layman’s gifs) for a wide variety of classical works and topics. Much of the classical music canon was intended for non-musicians to listen to, and widely speaking, people are people are people– from the 16th century to the 21st. We’ll let you in on musical jokes that aren’t as obvious in our society today (but most of the jokes hold up pretty well) and any other pertinent information. Anything that’s fodder for the classical music canon is fair game for us, so suggestions are more than welcome!

We do our very best to try and link any musical terms/lingo we don’t directly explain to easy-to-understand explanations and examples so click around!

Classical music has huge variations, so as you’re going through, take note of what you like and what doesn’t quite click. We tag all our posts with the composer, general musical era, and other pertinent classifications, so follow those rabbit holes and see if there’s anything else hiding in those tags you might love.

You can read the post and then follow our link to listen, or listen while you read, or whatever else makes you feel good. Head over to our article on how we like to listen to classical music (coming soon!) for more ways to make classical music listening awesome.

Happy listening and exploring!