Music Composers Trivia

These are all famous composers. I rediscovered some scribbled notes from various (unidentified) sources when tidying my music studio, so I’m wondering how to adapt this collected trivia to an activity for my students.

See how you score! Answers at the bottom of the blog.

  1. Who was a priest, and a teacher at an orphanage for girls?
  2. Who was about 150 tall, chubby and wore glasses, and had thick curly brown hair?
  3. Who kept a chamber pot (empty or otherwise) under his grand piano?
  4. Which operatic composer was shut up in a room by the director, and told to hurry up and write the overture because it was the morning of the opening night — or if not, he’d be thrown out of the window?
  5. Who was attacked in the street by a member of his orchestra whom he had criticized too much?
  6. Which two composers both refused a musical post which was offered as long as they married the daughter of the person about to quit the job?
  7. Who crippled his hand by using a device he invented?
  8. Who got put into jail for a month for trying to resign his musical post?
  9. Which composer was so fond of food that his grocer said “If he knows as much about music as he does about macaroni, he must write beautiful stuff”?
  10. Who was Mozart speaking about when heard a teenager play the piano and said “He will make a noise in the world some day”?
  11. Which operatic composer threatened to throw a lady singer out of the window when she started to put extra notes into her opera solo?
  12. Who, in 35 years, lived in 71 different lodgings?
  13. Who as a teen worked as a barber’s boy (dressing wigs etc.) to earn enough to begin as a composer?
  14. Which composer’s opera opening night was a HOOT because a singer had a nose-bleed, and a cat walked in on the finale?
  15. Who died during a thunderstorm just after having raised himself up so he could shake his fist at the sky?
  16. Who got in a sword-fight and only got his life saved when his button broke the point off the other person’s sword?
  17. Who was such a disorganized composer that many of his works were left unfinished simply because he lost track of them?
  18. Who threw himself into the river Rhine?
  19. Who, as he got older, said “I no longer compose, being at the age at which one, rather, decomposes”?
  20. Who married the daughter of a former employer, only to find they were incompatible?

ANSWERS: 1 Vivaldi;  2 Schubert; 3 Beethoven; 4 Schumann; 5 Bach;  6 Handel and Bach; 7 Schumann;  8 Bach; 9 Rossini;  10 Beethoven;  11 Handel;  12 Beethoven; 13 Haydn; 14 Rossini; 15 Beethoven; 16 Handel; 17 Schubert; 18 Schumann; 19 Rossini; 20 Haydn married the barber’s daughter.


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