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Twenty Trivia Questions About Classical Music – Lyric Say

Want some trivia questions on classical music? We’ve obtained you coated!

Right now we’re wanting on the historical past of classical music for trivia inspiration. Study all the pieces from a composer who murdered his spouse, to a Venetian orchestra of proficient orphans, to forbidden amorous affairs, a deaf composer on the premiere of his groundbreaking symphony, and hypnotherapy that impressed a piano concerto.

50 Times Great Composers Insulted Other Great Composers


With out additional ado, listed here are our twenty trivia questions from classical music historical past:

Which composer from Bingen is also referred to as a saint?

Hildegard of Bingen!

Hildegard of Bingen was born round 1098 in present-day Germany. She began having visions at an early age and joined a Benedictine monastery as a toddler.

Round 1150 she composed a well-known sacred music drama referred to as Ordo Virtutum, or Order of the Virtues.

Hildegard of Bingen wasn’t only a composer. She additionally wrote theological works based mostly on her visions, in addition to scientific and medical texts.

Some fashionable popes have referred to her as a saint.

Hildegard von Bingen: Hymns and Songs (twelfth century)

Which composer murdered his first spouse and was by no means punished for it?

Carlo Gesualdo!

In 1586, when he was twenty, Gesualdo married his first cousin, Donna Maria d’Avalos. That they had one son.

4 years later, Gesualdo got here house and found his spouse in mattress with one other man. Gesualdo killed each his spouse and her lover with a gun and sword.

The authorities determined he had not dedicated a criminal offense.

Carlo Gesualdo – from Tenebrae Responsories

Which composer died after hanging his foot with a employees he used whereas conducting?

Jean-Baptiste Lully!

Italian composer Jean-Baptiste Lully was each a dancer and musician.

He obtained a job within the court docket of Louis XIV. In 1687, to have a good time Louis’s restoration from surgical procedure, he performed a efficiency of his Te Deum.

He performed by pounding a employees on the ground. Within the course of, he by chance hit his foot. Gangrene developed and he refused to amputate as a result of he nonetheless needed to have the ability to dance.

Lully died on 22 March 1687 of his accidents.

Jean Baptiste Lully: Te Deum

Which composer had seven youngsters along with his second cousin, and 13 youngsters along with his second spouse?

Johann Sebastian Bach!

In 1707, Johann Sebastian Bach married his second cousin, Maria Barbara Bach.

She died tragically and unexpectedly in July 1720.

The next 12 months, Bach married an completed younger singer named Anna Magdalena. She was twenty and he was thirty-six.

That they had 13 kids collectively. Their youngest little one, a daughter named Regina Susanna, was solely eight years previous when he died.

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Main BWV 1048

Which composer wrote music for a virtuoso orchestra of girls who had been deserted as infants?

Antonio Vivaldi!

He was a trainer at a facility referred to as the Ospedale della Pietà, which took care of orphaned or deserted kids.

As kids, essentially the most musically proficient ladies had been chosen to carry out within the figlie di coro, or daughters of the choir. They might each sing and play devices.

Vivaldi wrote lots of his works for them.

Vivaldi Gloria at La Pieta, Venice

Which composer had a dream that the satan performed violin for him – after which wakened and wrote it down?

Giuseppe Tartini!

Giuseppe Tartini wrote in Jérôme Lalande’s Voyage d’un François en Italie:

One night time, within the 12 months 1713 I dreamed I had made a pact with the satan for my soul. The whole lot went as I wanted: my new servant anticipated my each need. Amongst different issues, I gave him my violin to see if he may play. How nice was my astonishment on listening to a sonata so great and so stunning, performed with such nice artwork and intelligence, as I had by no means even conceived in my boldest flights of fantasy. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted: my breath failed me, and I awoke. I instantly grasped my violin so as to retain, partially no less than, the impression of my dream.

Even so, Tartini insisted that the work was not almost as spectacular because the one he’d dreamed.

Giuseppe Tartini: Satan’s Trill Sonata

Which composer was fired by an archbishop and kicked on the behind?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

In 1781, Mozart was aiming to ingratiate himself with Emperor Joseph II, whereas nonetheless remaining employed with Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo in his hometown of Salzburg.

Sadly, Colloredo saved Mozart from making profitable appearances, and acrimony grew between them.

Mozart tried to resign, however Colloredo refused to just accept the resignation.

In the meantime, Mozart’s father was horrified at his son’s habits and was encouraging him to make good with the archbishop.

The next month, Colloredo lastly accepted the resignation…however not earlier than having his steward kick Mozart on the behind.

Mozart determined to make a go at freelancing in Vienna. The choice would change his life and profession and music perpetually.

Mozart: Idomeneo, Ballet Music Ok. 367

Which composer was additionally the most effective swordsmen in Europe?

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges!

Bologne was the illegitimate son of a white planter named Georges and an enslaved Black lady named Nanon.

When he was seven, he was delivered to France to be educated. At 13, he enrolled in a fencing academy. He quickly proved to be a proficient scholar.

A fencing grasp derided him by labeling him an “upstart mulatto.” Bologne beat that fencing grasp in a match, to the extraordinary satisfaction of his father.

Bologne additionally studied music as a teen and have become an awesome violinist and composer as an grownup.

Chevalier de Saint-George: Symphonie Concertante in G main

Which composer had his cranium stolen out of his coffin?

Joseph Haydn!

Haydn died in 1809 in Vienna and was buried. Quickly after, the gravedigger was bribed by two males named Joseph Carl Rosenbaum and Johann Nepomuk Peter.

They needed to look at Haydn’s skull as a result of they had been concerned with phrenology, the pseudo-science then in vogue of associating character traits or abilities with bodily options.

Haydn’s cranium ended up in Rosenbaum’s possession, and a collection of darkly zany misadventures occurred.

Haydn’s cranium and physique had been solely reunited within the twentieth century, when a descendent of Haydn’s employer constructed a tomb for him.

Haydn: Symphony No. 45 Farewell Symphony

Which composer went deaf and needed to be rotated to see the viewers on the premiere of his ninth symphony?

Ludwig van Beethoven!

Beethoven was solely in his mid-twenties within the 1790s when he first began noticing that his listening to was deteriorating.

By the point of the premiere of his ninth symphony in 1824, he had been utterly deaf for a decade.

After the work’s first efficiency was over, he didn’t notice how the viewers was applauding, and so singer Caroline Unger turned him round so he may see.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Which composer and pianist had been saved from marrying by the pianist’s father?

Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck!

Clara Wieck was born in 1819 and her music trainer father was insistent on molding her into an awesome musician.

Between his strict educating routine, his daughter’s astonishing inborn expertise, and a bit luck, Clara grew to become one of many biggest pianists in Europe.

One other older piano scholar named Robert Schumann was rooming with the Wiecks. To Wieck’s horror, Robert and Clara fell in love. Robert proposed when she was eighteen, and he or she accepted.

Robert and Clara actually went to court to bypass Wieck. The court docket battle was bruising, however they had been married in September 1840, the day earlier than Clara’s twenty first birthday.

Their love affair has since turn out to be one of many best-known love tales within the historical past of classical music.

Schumann – Träumerei, “Kinderszenen” No. 7, Scenes from Childhood

Which composer and violinist did individuals assume had made a cope with the satan?

Niccolò Paganini!

The violin has all the time had a little bit of a demonic connotation (see the Devil’s Trill sonata!). This may occasionally have began as a result of moveable violin-like devices had been fashionable in dances throughout the Renaissance and had connections with bodily love.

Violinist Niccolò Paganini was born in Italy in 1782, and he was so good at taking part in the instrument that audiences struggled to imagine his expertise had a pure rationalization.

His look contributed to the parable. He was pale and vampiric, and regarded like a cadaver.

He was additionally stated to be a harmful womanizer, which didn’t assist his repute!

David Garrett (Niccolo Paganini) Caprice 24 [The Devil’s Violinist]

Which composer virtually carried out a mass capturing – however didn’t as a result of he was a composer?

Hector Berlioz!

Berlioz was a promising younger composer when he grew to become concerned with pianist Marie Moke, typically referred to as Camille Moke. They grew to become engaged when she was nineteen.

Berlioz traveled to Italy to compose. Whereas there, he obtained information that she’d damaged off the engagement and married an inheritor to a significant piano making enterprise by the identify Camille Pleyel. (Yep: two Camilles in a single marriage!)

Berlioz was so infuriated that he obtained on a carriage to go to Paris, carrying two pistols. He meant to shoot Moke, her mom, after which himself.

Nonetheless, his rage ultimately abated, and he determined to not undergo along with his violent plan, partially because of the music that the world would lose out on if he’d kill himself at first of his profession.

Past a doubt, it’s one of the crucial disturbing tales in classical music historical past.

Hector Berlioz – Requiem (Grande Messe des Morts)

Which composer fell in love with Clara Schumann…however by no means married her?

Johannes Brahms!

Brahms was solely twenty years previous when he came visiting Robert and Clara Schumann within the autumn of 1853.

Each Robert and Clara had been vastly impressed by the younger man and took him below their wings. Robert even wrote a well-known article by which he hailed Brahms because the savior of music.

In February 1854, Robert’s psychological well being points got here to a head, and he went to an asylum for therapy, forsaking a distraught pregnant Clara and 7 different younger kids.

Brahms tried to assist Clara how he may, and, awkwardly, fell in love together with her.

For quite a lot of causes, even after Robert’s dying, they by no means married. However they continued to like one another deeply and encourage each other creatively till Clara died in 1896.

Brahms: Intermezzo A-Dur op. 118 No. 2

Which composer died after getting cholera from ingesting unboiled water?

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky!

Tchaikovsky was feeling uncharacteristically optimistic after writing and premiering his well-known sixth symphony – also referred to as the Pathetique – in October 1893.

Nonetheless, his life was lower brief only a few days later, when he went to a restaurant and drank a glass of unboiled water. There was a cholera outbreak in St. Petersburg on the time. Tchaikovsky came down with cholera and after an sickness of only a few days’ period, died.

Rumors have circulated that Tchaikovsky’s dying was suicide or pressured suicide. The New Grove Dictionary of Music reviews, “We do not know how Tchaikovsky died. We may never find out.”

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Which composer and pianist needed to get hypnotherapy to treatment his author’s block?

Sergei Rachmaninoff!

In 1897 composer Sergei Rachmaninoff suffered a humiliating premiere of his first symphony. The conductor could have been drunk, and the critics panned the work.

For 3 years, he couldn’t compose a factor, and he sank right into a deep melancholy. After months of this, his aunt prompt that he search assist from a psychological well being skilled, which he did.

He started working with a physician named Nikolai Dahl, seeing him day by day for 4 months in early 1900. He was composing once more by the summer season.

His subsequent huge work is probably his most well-known – his second piano concerto. He devoted the work to Dahl in appreciation.

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.2 Op.18

Which composer as soon as claimed he solely ate white meals?

Erik Satie!

Satie wrote in his e book, the amusingly titled Memoirs of an Amnesiac:

My solely nourishment consists of meals that’s white: eggs, sugar, grated bones, the fats of useless animals, veal, salt, coconuts, hen cooked in white water, fruit-mould, rice, turnips, camphorated sausages, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and sure sorts of fish (with out their pores and skin). I boil my wine and drink it chilly combined with the juice of the Fuchsia. I’m a hearty eater, however by no means communicate whereas consuming, for concern of strangling.

This portion of the memoir is considerably satirical, but it surely’s unclear precisely how a lot he was exaggerating.

Erik Satie: Gymnopédie No.1

Which composer left his first spouse, who later shot herself?

Claude Debussy!

Debussy met and married his first spouse, Lilly Texier, in 1899.

Inside 4 years, Debussy had grown bored of her. She wasn’t a glowing mind, and he felt she was too boring. She additionally by no means gave delivery to a toddler, which upset Debussy.

Debussy’s resolution to his marital troubles was to have an affair with a glamorous married singer named Emma Bardac.

The day earlier than their fifth marriage ceremony anniversary, Lilly shot herself on the Place de la Concorde. She didn’t die, however the dramatic gesture didn’t save their marriage.

Debussy would eventually divorce Lilly and marry Bardac.

Claude Debussy: L’isle Joyeuse

Which composer by no means married and had a houseful of Siamese cats?

Maurice Ravel!

The perpetually single composer lived in a magical home referred to as Belvedere exterior Paris. As an alternative of a spouse or lover or kids, he crammed Belvedere with varied mechanical trinkets, Siamese cats, and music.

In his opera L’enfant et les sortilèges Ravel wrote an aria referred to as Duo miaulé, or Meowed Duet. This work was clearly impressed by his cats.

Ravel: L’enfant et les sortilèges – ‘Duo Miaule’

Which American composer died of a mind tumor in his late thirties?

George Gershwin!

Within the mid-Thirties, on the top of his artistic powers, Gershwin started complaining about complications, abdomen aches, and different signs.

In 1937, whereas soloing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he had a short seizure, adopted by an olfactory hallucination of burning rubber.

He started deteriorating mentally, rubbing chocolate on his physique and making an attempt to shove a person out of a automotive. Docs labeled him a hysteric.

Nonetheless, when he went to the hospital for the final time, it was clear to medical doctors one thing was bodily flawed. Gershwin was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died on the operating table.

George Gershwin | Promenade – Strolling The Canine


Classical music trivia is stuffed with info about generations of musicians and performers. We hope you loved these twenty, and that they’re a superb leaping off level to be taught extra!

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