Masterpiece: 400 Years of Classical Music in 12 Minutes

If you’ve never heard The King’s Singers’ performance of “Masterpiece”, you’re in for a serious treat!

This vocal piece summarizes the development of western classical music over the last 400 years in 12 minutes.  It highlights some of the most influential composers and demonstrates their individual styles while singing the composer’s name or their most-used musical elements.  It’s a brilliant composition, and talk about a fun performance!  
(Note: the singing starts 30 seconds into the video.)


Here’s a break-down of the composers featured in the piece:

0:30      Johann Sebastian Bach
1:29      J.S. Bach vs. His Sons
2:30      George Frederic Handel
3:30      W.A. Mozart
4:43      Ludwig van Beethoven
6:25      Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
7:05      Strauss Family
8:44      Claude Debussy (Impressionistic Composer)
10:01    Richard Wagner (Wagner was known for his drama; thus the outburst.)
10:15    Assorted Composers in Impressionistic Style
10:22    Back to Wagner
10:46    Assorted Composers in Impressionistic/20th Century Style
11:10    William Bird
11:23    John Cage (Ever heard his 4:33?)
11:27    Assorted Contemporary
11:35    George Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blues)
11:44    Back to J.S. Bach

This is a fun resource for studying music history and composers’ styles.   So enjoy it and share it with your friends, family, and music students!  They’ll love it.


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  1. Mrs. C

    Thanks for posting this. It really was fun. We enjoy taking a peek at your blog and finding informative and fun facts about some of the different things we are interested in. Keep the good posts coming.


    • Lacie Bowman

      Thanks for your encouragement, Mrs. C! I’m so glad you enjoyed this fun video.


  2. Mrs. Watt

    Thank you for posting the website resources. We have been on a few of them and really like the Classics for Kids. It is fun for my young musicians to hear about the lives of some of their favorite composers.


    • Lacie Bowman

      I’m so happy you’ve discovered some new resources through the children’s page, Mrs. Watt! Keep checking back, because I’ll update the page every time I find a new resource. And please recommend any good music resources you have up your sleeve – I’d love to look into them!


  3. Esther

    This is one of our families favorite things to watch on youtube! So very helpful too, if your wanting to learn more about music history.


  4. Hannah

    We found the King Singers only a few years ago, and really enjoy their work!
    I think Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and Wagner were my favorite composers interpreted in this “Masterpiece” .


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