Classical Music Trivial and Answers

At TriviaQN we have a sweet spot for music in general. Oh, the classical music we have all loved and the styles it has carried through the centuries that still suit our various moods. But, in these centuries and in the workings of the music's masters and apprentices a wealth of trivia can be harvested. We are confident you know a lot of it. But how much of it?

Challenge yourself with a Classical Music Trivial Quiz!

Easy

Traditionally, the black keys on a piano were made out of which wood?

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Answer: Ebony
In the classical days, ebony, a hardwood found primarily in West Africa, was used to make the black keys on pianos. In modern times however, plastic is mostly used to make piano keys, both black and white.

Medium

Which composer took home the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording?

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Answer: Mason Bates
Mason Bates first opera piece, "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs" based on the life of the titular businessman, earned him the 2019 Grammy for Best Opera Recording.

VeryHard

Who was the first African-American composer to have one of his works played by a major orchestra?

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Answer: William Grant Still
In 1931, William Grant Still's "Afro-African Symphony" was played by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, marking the first time a symphony composed by an African-American was played by a major orchestra. Five years later, Still would make history again by being the first African-American to conduct a major American orchestra (Los Angeles Philharmonic) during the 1936 Hollywood Bowl.

Medium

The "work number" that is assigned to a composition to indicate the chronological order it was created in (by the composer) is known as what?

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Answer: Opus Number
Opus numbers are the numbers you usually find attached to the name of a classical work, such as 'Symphony No. 4', etc. These indicate the order in which the artist produced these works.

Medium

"Ivan Susanin" was the Soviet era name for which of Mikhail Glinka's numerous works?

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Answer: "A Life for the Tsar"
Originally entitled "Ivan Susanin", Mikhail Glinka renamed the first of his two most-famous operas to "A Life for the Tsar" (1836) as a show of favor to Emperor Nicholas I who monitored the work while it was in progress and is said to have actually suggested the name change.

Hard

"Opera buffa" is a genre of opera characterized by what?

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Answer: Comedy
"Opera buffa" translates from Italian - with Italy being the region the genre was born - as "comic opera".

Medium

John Cage's "As Slow as Possible" (1987), a musical piece that began in 2001, is scheduled to end after how many years?

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Answer: 639
The organ version of "As Slow as Possible" began at St. Burckhardt's church in Germany during 2001 and is scheduled to conclude in 2640, thus making it 639 years in duration.

Medium

According to a 1990s study, listening to the music of which composer made students temporarily smarter?

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Answer: Mozart
A study published by the respected scientific journal "Nature" in 1999 suggested that listening to certain tunes by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart slightly increased student IQ scores, albeit briefly. This theorized phenomenon has come to be known as the "Mozart effect".

Hard

Multitalented German composer Richard Wagner was married to the daughter of which other notable classical musician?

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Answer: Franz Liszt
In 1870, Richard Wagner married Cosima, daughter of Franz Liszt, whom Franz fathered with Countess Mari d'Agoult, the wife of another man. Cosima also gave birth to her first child with Wagner while wed to music conductor Hans von B├╝low, but she later divorced him and officially married Wagner.

Hard

Martha Aregerich won the International Chopin Piano Competition in 1965 at the tender age of 24. What country does Martha hail from?

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Answer: Argentina
Classical concert pianist Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on June 5, 1941. Martha is often referred to as one of the finest pianists of her generation. At the young age of 8, Martha had already began professionally playing concertos by Beethoven and Mozart.



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