Spooky Tunes

Three Eerie Musical Journeys Guaranteed To Give You Goosebumps

by Florian Boberski (25.10.2021)
Translation by Edd Lee (19.10.2022)

The cold season has arrived, the shadows of black cats running to and fro are getting longer, the days are getting shorter, and theremins and singing saws are coming out again!

So let’s take a look at a few questions about dark music: Why do we get goosebumps and what does that say about us? Do you know the melody of death that has been creeping through music history for centuries, quoted by many great composers, and even features in children's films like The Lion King? Embark upon our eerie musical journeys and let yourself be inspired. Some answers and examples might scare you...

In the Stretta-Shop:

Halloween – Sheet Music

Creepy Music that gives you Goosebumps

Creepy Music that gives you Goosebumps… You are sitting in a concert hall, or on the sofa in the comfort of your own home. It might be a powerful orchestral chord, a violin solo, or just a softly whispered phrase in a pop song, and it happens: a shiver runs down your spine, and you get goosebumps. But wait a minute: here, goosebumps doesn’t mean you are trembling with fear, it can also be a warm, comforting feeling flowing through you. And if you have experienced this before, we'd like to congratulate you: according to a study by Harvard student Matthew Sachs & colleagues , people who get goosebumps just from listening to music are particularly empathetic.

Triggering strong emotions in the listener has always been the unspoken goal of every composer. Additionally, some pieces of music were deliberately written to teach us fear. We would like to invite you on three eerie musical journeys to get to know spooky music through the ages, in all different styles.

The Right Mood for Musical Thrills:


For the ultimate goosebump-guaranteed reading and listening experience, please take the following precautions: Don't just keep reading and listening during work hours (yes, that's right, we mean you). While that may provide a certain thrill, we want to offer you more. Wait for the right moment when you are at home… alone. Head into the room that most resembles a dungeon of a haunted castle (the messier the better).

Turn off the heating and the lights, and light a candle to serve as your sole source of light besides your display. Make sure you're not too warmly dressed, and sit with your back to a door or open window, preferably in a creaky rocking chair. Fire up one of our three playlists and grab a woolen blanket to keep out the cold (we're not cruel, after all). We hope it is entertaining… and lots of spooky fun!

PS Follow at your own risk!

Playlist: Scary Classical

Come into the cool catacombs of the most catastrophic classical compositions! Crisp as a cat, you can listen to the clear, concert call in the cold cellar of a cathedral with clattering teeth. Is that an organ I hear? No, for at the beginning of this playlist, one of the most important pieces of all time was arranged for orchestra, in order to be even more effective. Discover the terrific depths of classical music!

Playlist: Freaky Film Music

Now the horror really begins. Atonality, dissonance, specifically developed, weird instruments, rhythmic unrest, menacingly deep tones or bone-chilling high notes - there are no limits to the imagination of film composers to make us uncomfortable, to accentuate terrible images or to forebode disaster.

Playlist: Terrifying Pop & Rock

So, you think that after scary classical music and freaky film music, nothing can frighten you anymore? You're probably right, since popular music tends to be more entertaining and generally tries not to be too disturbing. It's often the backstory that frightens us the most, like with the first song on this playlist…

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Why do we Watch & Listen to Horror?

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we want to be downright afraid? Science says: Experiencing something unnerving in a safe environment, controlling a perceived state of danger, trains us for other frightening moments and makes us feel good.

Feeling safe?! Was that a creek behind you…?

We hope you feel entertained, perhaps learnt something new, and maybe even found a fresh incentive to listen to and make music, with or without goosebumps or other-worldly experiences.

In this (sixth) sense, until the next witching hour!

Verband deutscher MusikschulenBundesverband der Freien MusikschulenJeunesses Musicales DeutschlandFrankfurter Tonkünstler-BundBundes­verb­and deutscher Lieb­haber-OrchesterStützpunkt­händ­ler der Wiener Urtext Edition

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