Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Stories: To Kill a Mockingbird


This short 3 minute piano piece reveals a facade of beauty that is the perfect match for a birds-eye view of Boo Radley’s town. Both the music and novel invite us to reconsider our perspectives by presenting a world that is both otherworldly and hauntingly similar to our own.

Classical Music Stories is a series that connects music to your favorite books and characters. Since listening to classical music can be like hearing a story, imagining specific stories that match the music can make it that much more fun and accessible!

“Melodie in E Major”
Composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Performed by Alessio Bax

We start with a simple, superficial, birds-eye glance at Maycomb County and the people who live there. Then we zoom in to the mystery of Boo Radley and racism against Tom Robinson (a.k.a. the town’s dark secrets). The purity of Atticus’s attempts become mixed with the superficiality that passersby see as he feels that his actions are somewhat futile.

The return of the opening birds-eye view leads into more intense mystery and a threatening aspect before returning to Atticus and the town’s façade. This time the return of the opening is slightly darker, making the end turn tragic. The circular shape of the piece mirrors the futility and dark cycles of the society that can’t seem to break free from stereotypes, dishonesty and immorality.


Let me know what you thought about the music and/or the book in the comments below!

Previously on Classical Music Stories: Classical Music Stories: Dumbledore and J.S. Bach

Check out the full collection of these music and book pairings here!

Want to see a particular book, piece, or composer featured in Classical Music Stories? Let me know!

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