Are You Musically Informed?

December 20, 2011

Test your music trivia knowledge! 

1. Who was the first major composer NOT financially dependent on a benefactor?

2. Who wrote over 100 symphonies, taught Beethoven, strongly influenced Mozart, and was known as ‘Papa’?

3. Who composed all his overtures the night before they were to be performed and who would be disgusted to know that one of his pieces became the theme song for The Lone Ranger?

4. Which French composer created a fun piece to play for his friends and then became so worried that it would damage his reputation as a composer that he suppressed the publication of all but one movement of it in his lifetime?

5. Which famous composer had 20 children?


1. Beethoven was the first truly successful composer. He sold a single piece to several different music companies at once and made money off of each one.

2. Joseph Haydn

3. Gioacchino Rossini. The night before one of his operas premiered, the impresario locked Rossini in a small room with two guards, who were ordered to throw him out the window if the overture was not finished by dawn.

4. “Carnival of the Animals” is French composer Camille Saint-Saëns’ most well-known piece. He composed it as private entertainment for his friends and did not allow it to be performed publicly while he was alive (except for an excerpt from “The Swan”). He did not want to be known for what he considered to be a frivolous piece.

5. Bach was married twice in his lifetime. Between his two wives, he sired a total of 20 children.