Three Bs  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"The Three Bs" is an English-language phrase derived from an expression coined by Peter Cornelius in 1854, which added Hector Berlioz as the third B to occupy the heights already occupied by Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. Later in the century, the famous conductor Hans von Bülow would substitute Johannes Brahms for Berlioz. The phrase is generally used in discussions of classical music to refer to the supposed primacy of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms in the field.

In popular culture

  • In a Peanuts strip (published February 22, 1952), when Schroeder begins playing the piano, Charlie Brown says "You've heard of Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven, right? Well from now on it's going to be Schubert, Schumann, and Schroeder."

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