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Classically Insulting

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When Jack White's divorce turned from surprisingly friendly to a publicly discussed mess, court documents revealed that the White Stripes star has a none-too-positive view of the Black Key's Dan Auerbach.

But, really, a rock and roll feud is no surprise. White is part of a proud tradition of insults in rock and roll. The Beatles traded lyrical jabs. David Lee Roth insulted Elvis Costello and music critics in one fell swoop. Even brothers like the Davies (The Kinks) and the Gallaghers (Oasis) had no trouble employing foul words and divisive interviews in tearing apart familial relationships and, sometimes, their bands. 

But maybe this grand tradition of insults goes back to a more refined age, when violins and bassoons were more common than guitar riffs. Classic FM has compiled a list of the 21 best insults in classical music. And they are at once dignified and degrading, captivating and cruel.

So, the next time you hear about Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, remember that Tchaikovsky's thoughts on Mussorgsky were just as unkind, but decidedly more lyrical.

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