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!

Medium

Which famous rock star named his son after Mozart?

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Answer: Eddie Van Halen
Since 2006, Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang Van Halen, named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, has served as the bass guitarist for his family's ultra-popular rock group, Van Halen.

Medium

Which institution is primarily responsible for the formation of standardized musical notation?

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Answer: The Catholic Church
Musical notation has been around for a long time, but most ancient works utilizing such are incomprehensible. It was the Catholic Church in medieval Europe that standardized musical notation so that it can be read uniformly in different venues.

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

German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) famously wrote a musical piece which involves the use of which type of vehicles?

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Answer: Helicopters
Stockhausen's "Helicopter String Quartet", composed in 1993, requires musicians in four separate helicopters performing independently yet in unison with the overall composition, as their parts are recorded and played simultaneously to a large audience.

VeryHard

"The Noise of Time" is a 2016 novel based on the life of which prominent 20th century Russian composer?

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Answer: Dmitri Shostakovich
"The Noise of Time" is based on the life of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), who despite being one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century during his life had his music, was banned twice by the Soviet principalities.

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.

Hard

Gustav Mahler's iconic work "Kindertotenlieder" (1904) are based on poems by a father who lost two of his children to which fate?

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Answer: Scarlet Fever
"Kindertotenlieder" is actually a collection of 428 poems by German poet Friedrich Rückert and later compiled by Gustav Mahler, which the former wrote in 1833-34 after losing two of his children to scarlet fever.

Medium

"Messiah", the classical work from which the famous 'Hallelujah' chorus is derived, was written by which composer?

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Answer: George Frideric Handel
The inspiration for George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" (1742) came from the King James Bible as well as the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer".

VeryHard

Which of Beethoven's works did Austrian renowned composer Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828) request to hear on his deathbed?

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Answer: String Quartet No. 14
Franz Schubert considered Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 the ultimate composition. As such, shortly before his death he requested his own string quartet play the piece for him.

Medium

Which musician held a benefit concert and helped raise $1 million for the financially-ailing Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2012?

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Answer: Kid Rock
Though Kid Rock is not from Detroit itself but nearby Romeo, Michigan, he cared enough for classical musical to help save the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from extinction when he and his Twisted Brown Trucker band performed alongside the orchestra on 12 May 2012 and helped raise a lot of money on their behalf.



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