36 Music Quiz Questions with Answers – Learn about Music
Music Quiz – Composers & Their Music
1. Which of these compositions is not by Czech composer Antonín Dvorák?
(a) Billy the Kid (b) New World Symphony (c) Slavonic Dances (d) Moravian Duets
Aaron Copland wrote Billy the Kid in 1938. He was an American composer.
2. Thomas Tallis was a composer of:
Answer: Church music.
Thomas Tallis was a composer of church music. He lived in the 16th century, during one of the stormiest periods in the history of English Christianity, and was part of the court of King Henry VIII.
3. Which of these is by Johann Strauss?
(a) Greensleeves (b) The Blue Danube (c) Für Elise (d) Sleeping Beauty
Johann Strauss wrote The Blue Danube and many other waltzes.
4. Who composed Boris Godunov and Pictures at an Exhibition?
Answer: Modest Musorgsky.
Musorgsky is remembered primarily for his opera Boris Godunov and for Pictures at an Exhibition. Though his output was small, few composers have evolved so original and bold a style.
5. Who wrote Rondo alla turca?
Answer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed Rondo alla turca, or the Turkish Sonata, in about 1783.
6. Which of these was a famous madrigalist, or composer of madrigal music?
(a) Francis Albert Sinatra (b) Fra Filippo Lippi (c) Frank Zappa (d) Francesco Landini
Answer: Francesco Landini.
Florence, where a new style of lyric poetry influenced the madrigalists, produced the greatest madrigal composer of the 14th century, Francesco Landini.
7. Who composed the Messiah, first performed in 1742?
Answer: George Frideric Handel.
A musical giant of the late baroque period, George Frideric Handel was born in Germany but spent most of his adult life in England. His Messiah debuted in 1742.
8. Who wrote Tales from the Vienna Woods?
Answer: Johann Strauss.
Johann Strauss composed his Tales from the Vienna Woods in 1868.
9. Who was known as the “King of Swing”?
Answer: Benny Goodman
Jazz bandleader Benny Goodman was called “the King of Swing.”
10. What does the name “ukulele” mean in Hawaiian?
Answer: Jumping flea.
The name Ukulele means “jumping flea” in Hawaiian, a reference to the quick movements of the player’s fingers.
11. In Greek mythology, from what was the first lyre constructed?
Answer: A turtle shell.
In Greek legend, the lyre was discovered when Hermes brushed against a turtle shell and heard its sinews vibrate. He gave the new instrument to Apollo in restitution for having stolen the god’s cows.
12. What was Buddy Holly’s backup band called?
Answer: the Crickets.
With the Crickets, Buddy Holly was a pioneer of rock music. He died in a plane crash in 1959.
13. Where is it thought that the banjo originated?
The banjo was probably brought to the New World by enslaved Africans. Variations on the banjo are found worldwide.
14. What was the name of the Who’s second rock opera?
The Who’s second rock opera, Quadrophenia, was released in 1973. It was written by guitarist Pete Townshend.
The Sound Of Music Quiz
15. Which instrument group is most important in Western marching music?
The loud, bright-sounding brass instruments—trumpets, trombones, and tubas—are key in marching and military music.
16. Which instrument is known as the “thumb piano?”
The kalimba, or thumb piano, is an African musical instrument with tuned metal tongues the player pushes and releases.
17. Which instrument is generally thought to be closest to the human voice?
The violin, with its pitch range and ability to glide between notes, is said to most closely resemble the human voice.
18. For which instrument was relatively little classical music composed?
Comparatively little classical music features the saxophone. It is mostly used in jazz music.
19. What instrument is common to almost every culture’s music?
Nearly every culture with a musical tradition has some form of drum.
20. What instrument is considered the national instrument of Scotland?
The bagpipe, a kind of reed instrument, is strongly associated with Scotland and considered the national instrument.
Musical Instruments Quiz
21. The saxophone is a popular jazz instrument, but what was its first use?
Answer: Military music.
Antoine-Joseph Sax invented the saxophone for use in military bands and orchestras. Not long after its invention, the French army adopted it for its bands.
22. What is the word for a kind of stringed instrument?
A harp is a large triangular instrument with strings that the player plucks.
23. The theremin belongs to this class of musical instruments:
The theremin, invented in 1920, was one of the world’s first electronic instruments. Pitch is controlled by moving one’s hands nearer to or farther from the device, without ever touching it.
24. What is the name for the end of a horn that projects the sound?
On most brass instruments, the musician blows into the mouthpiece and the sound comes out the opposite, flared end, known as the bell.
25. How many pedals does a grand piano have?
The grand piano has three pedals. Two lift the felt dampers above the strings, while the left pedal shifts the keyboard and action sideways.
Offbeat Rhythms: Understanding Reggae
26. How many beats does reggae typically have?
The four-beat rhythm of reggae includes heavy accents on the second and fourth beats of each measure.
27. What country was reggae singer Bob Marley from?
28. With what religion is reggae music associated?
Bob Marley, the reggae giant, was born in Jamaica in 1945.
29. Which instrument is not typically used in reggae?
The electric guitar, the bass guitar, drums, and the “scraper” (a corrugated stick that is rubbed by another stick) drive the syncopated reggae rhythms.
Rock Music And Rock ’N’ Roll Quiz
30. What British rock band pioneered the use of the light show?
Answer: Pink Floyd.
A “psychedelic” rock band, Pink Floyd began to use light shows in its act in 1967. Today the lights include laser beams.
31. What was the first rock song to become famous around the world?
Answer: Rock Around the Clock.
Country artist Bill Haley and his band the Comets had an international hit in 1955 with their rock song “Rock Around the Clock.” Elvis Presley and other rock artists soon followed.
32. What are the instruments in a classic three-piece rock band?
Answer: Guitar, bass, drums.
The guitar voices chords, the bass plays low notes that propel a song’s chord progression, and the drums provide rhythm.
33. What was the world’s first “rock opera”?
Tommy, by The Who, was released in 1969. Hair was a rock musical, but did not style itself as a “rock opera.”
34. Who was the first rock-and-roll superstar?
Answer: Elvis Presley.
Elvis Presley was the first rock-and-roll superstar. He became popular in the mid-1950s and introduced rock music to many listeners.
35. What is the fundamental rhythmic characteristic of rock ’n’ roll?
Answer: The dead beat.
Rock songs usually put a heavy accent on beats two and four, typically on the drummer’s snare drum.
36. What is the lead instrument in most rock ’n’ roll bands?
The amplified, or “electric guitar,” made it possible for the guitar to become the lead instrument in pop music during the 1950s and 1960s.