The Frederick Symphony Orchestra Blog

20 Pieces Of Classical Music Trivia Every Musician Should Know

Posted by Illumine8 on Feb 7, 2018 9:00:00 AM


Are you ready to test your knowledge of classical music? Quiz your family and friends with the Frederick Symphony Orchestra’s trivia:

  1. What musical term means playing with each note detached? StaccatoThe Italian word means "with each sound or note sharply detached or separated from the others". 

  2. The classical music term "fugue" comes from Latin meaning what? Flight. A fugue is "a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts". 

  3. Who composed the Paris and Prague symphonies? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Paris Symphony was released in the 1770s, while the Prague Symphony was composed in the 1780s. 

  4. Who composed Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker? Pytor Tchaikovsky. Sleeping Beauty was first performed in 1890, while The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892. 

  5. What was the name of Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera? Fidelio.

  6. Which animal inspired part of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations? A bulldog.

    (PS. You can learn more and grab tickets to our May classical music concert, Eloquent Elgar, by clicking here.) 

  7. Which conductor always took to the podium wearing a white carnation? Sir Malcolm Sargent. 

  8. How old was Mozart when he began composing? 5 years old.

  9. True or false: A grand piano can be played faster than an upright piano? True. According to Did You Know?, "[The grand piano] has a repetition lever that allows the pianist to repeat the note when it is only half way up. An upright piano requires letting the key all the way up to reset the hammer action."

  10. Hector Berlioz went to Paris to study what craft? Medicine. His father wanted Hector to follow in his footsteps, but he had no interest after seeing the dissection of a human corpse.

  11. How much money did Warner Communications pay for the legal use of Happy Birthday? $28 million.

  12. In which opera does the heroine perish in an avalanche? La Wally by Alfredo Catalani.

  13. The sackbut was an early adoption of which modern musical instrument? The trombone.

  14. Which rock band from the 1970s rearranged Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for their album? Emerson Lake & Palmer.

  15. How many children did Johann Sebastian Bach have? 20.

  16. Which country boasts the most classical music composers? Germany.

  17. Antonin Dvorak wrote some of his most beloved music while living in which Midwestern state? Iowa.

  18. Which classical music composer was known as The Red Priest? Antonio Vivaldi. The Italian composer earned the nickname "il Prete Rosso" for his red hair and being ordained as a Catholic priest.

  19. True or false: Composer Frederick Delius spent part of his life tending to an orange plantation in Florida? True.

  20. Frédéric Chopin composed for only one musical instrument. What was it? Piano.

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Topics: classical music