Spotify Now Has the Complete Works of Bach and Beethoven

Ben Stegner 03-11-2015

There are plenty of websites for listening to classical music The Top 10 Sites To Listen To Classical Music Read More , but it’s easy to forget that Spotify contains tons of old music, too.


Using the Spotify playlists created by user Ulysses’ Classical [No Longer Available], you can stream both the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach and the complete works of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Bach’s 3,488 songs will take you 169 hours to finish while Beethoven’s 1,203 songs will take you at least 98 hours. All combined, that’s over 260 hours of wonderful classical music to enjoy.


The world was different back then. No 24-hour news. No social media begging for their attention all day long. Going to the symphony for a few hours of music was common — and these playlists can help rekindle that lost bit of culture from years past.

What would Bach and Beethoven think of Spotify if they were alive today? Having their entire life’s work available at the click of a button is incredible, to say the least.

If these playlists piqued your interest, check out these other ways to explore public domain music The 5 Best Sources For Exploring The World Of Public Domain Music In the midst of streaming music services and (unfortunately) pirated music, we tend to forget that there’s a type called public domain music too. Public domain music quite simply is music and musical works which... Read More .

Will you listen to any of Bach or Beethoven’s works using these playlists? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Image Credit: NaxosUSA via Shutterstock.com

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  1. Anonymous
    November 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Whatever nitpicking is going on, THIS is HEAVEN period
    Cheers guys!

    • Ben Stegner
      November 7, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks for appreciating! I don't know why people have to split hairs, but I appreciate that you actually read the article for what it was trying to do.

  2. Anonymous
    November 4, 2015 at 3:19 am

    I know those things, and about music in general much better than you think, even I am not a music professional. I can compete on equal terms about musical knowledge with most of the musicians of any symphony orchestra, or music teachers.
    I hinted to the overlaps by writing "give or take a few years".
    The baroque era is considered between 1600 and 1750, again "give or take a few years".
    It is clear classical style music was born at least a decade before 1750, but there is a consensus among music experts that the end of the baroque era is considered the year of J.S. Bach's death, even the other late baroque era giant, Haendel was still alive for another six years.
    I agree that It really doesn't matter when a piece of music was composed, its style determines where it belongs to.
    Bach's The Art of Fugue, the apogee of polyphonic music which characterizes the style of the late baroque era in Germany, is probably the best example of baroque style music written in the overlapping period.
    That composition is 100% baroque style, and 0% classical style.

  3. Anonymous
    November 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Classical music in the correct sense is music composed between 1750 and 1826, give or take a few years.
    Music composed by Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Rachmaninov, Bartók, Schönberg etc. should be properly called "concert music".

    In my dictionary a song is exclusively a musical composition written for a human voice having a piano or orchestra accompaniment based on words of a poem.
    I din't know Bach wrote almost 3500 "songs". In fact he didn't ever write one song.
    Schubert on the other hand wrote about 600 songs, Beethoven may have written a few, but definitely not 1203.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 3, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      I knew I'd hear from a music enthusiast in these comments.

      I knew from my Arts class that calling everything Classical music was a misnomer, but didn't check the right wording for this article. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

      I think the "song" distinction is slightly splitting hairs. Would a "piece" have been better? I wasn't trying to be too technical.

      • Ryan Dube
        November 4, 2015 at 2:24 am

        Ben, You're so lucky you get pedantic comments so frequently here. You must write at an intellectual level a lot higher than most writers here. Good work!

      • Anonymous
        November 4, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        Actually, yes, it would be great to change "song" to "piece" (a most inclusive term). A good rule of thumb before calling something a "song" is to ask the simple question: who's singing?. Still not 100%-proof but it mostly works. Song is a musical FORM, just like a sonata, a fugue, etc. Unlike what is mentioned in a comment above, there can be a song without a singer as long as it sticks to the form. One example is the numerous jazz standards that are interpreted without someone singing, just musicians playing the melody on instruments.

        As for the term "classical", yes, it's problematic but I can live with it since it is commonly used from most people to refer to most non-pop music. Would be nice if people used the proper terms (baroque for Bach, Classical for LvB, etc.), especially in such articles but that's not my beef with this post. Speaking of...

        A major issue for me is the naive notion that "The Complete Works" of Bach can exist in a Spotify playlist! Unlike modern music which is mainly made in the studio and exists after being recorded and released, a composer's work is in the written notes. Each PERFORMANCE (by a soloist, orchestra, conductor, etc.) is a new, entirely unique interpretation of those notes. Listening to Bach's 48 Preludes & Fugues by Glenn Gould or Keith Jarrett is such a radically different experience that could make a newcomer like or dislike the exact same piece of music. In that sense, I would hesitate giving Spotify the honors of having "The Complete Works" of any composer. It could have the X version of "The Works of Bach" (or several versions)...


    • Bruce Epper
      November 3, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      George, if you really want to pick nits on this one, consider the following:

      The various eras overlap. For example, the generally accepted time frame of the Baroque era is considered to run from 1600 to 1760 and the Classical era ran from 1730 (not 1750) to 1820.

      Beethoven was baptized (thus assumed born) in 1770 and died in 1827. So, if you are only looking at the date of creation, much of his material clearly falls into the Classical era with his later material falling into the Romantic era (beginning 1815).

      By the same standard, JS Bach's (1685-1750) material primarily falls into the Baroque era while his later material clearly falls into the beginning of the Classical era due to the overlap.

      Then there are individuals like Soler who's entire corpus can be considered to fall into the years of the Classical era, yet he is considered a Baroque composer. This is because it is not merely the year it was written, but the style it embodies that drops the composer's works into the classification system.

  4. Anonymous
    November 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    why not. this is great for preggy moms and babies. they say it makes babies smarter, i am not sure of it though.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      I don't know if that's true, but it can't be bad for anyone to listen to this music!