What's the most popular piece of classical music?

BBC surveyed radio and TV for the most played song

A survey commissioned by the BBC has shown that the most-played classical song on TV and radio for the last 75 years has been “O Fortuna,” the opening chorus from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The vaguely sinister-sounding chorus, which has been used in countless movies and TV shows, has been heard more often in British electronic media than any other, according to the firm that is in charge of collecting royalties on the recordings. Other pieces that are constantly heard in TV shows, radio shows and restaurants include the “Fantasia On a Theme By Thomas Tallis” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which came in second. Since Vaughan Williams and Orff were both 20th-century composers, that means that century’s music was more popular than we used to think.


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