Music Trivia: Answer 14

It seems that use of sandpaper during the 18th century is debatable, but the use of dogfish or shark skins was a common practice for the sanding of wood works, like the violin.

Sources: Anthony Hay’s Cabinetmaker, Classic FM, The Dutch Luthier, Popular Woodworking Magazine, and Sandy Tolan’s “Children of Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land.”

Music Trivia: Answer 12

Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” was designed to introduce individual instruments of the orchestra through a theatrical performance in which individual instruments represent different characters. Peter is represented by the string quartet, the bird is the flute, the duck is the oboe, the cat is the clarinet, the grandfather is the bassoon, the hunters and their gunshots on trumpet and kettle drums, and the wolf is represented by three french horns. The musical symphony debut was on May 2, 1936 in Moscow and premiered in the United States in March of 1938. It is one of the most frequently performed works in the entire classical repertoire.

Sources: Classics for Kids, PBS, Wikipedia, and many recordings.

Music Trivia: Answer 11

Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, was a talented pianist who revolutionized the face of public performance by giving solo recitals. Before that, musicians were expected to share concerts with other performers. Between talent, musical imagination, and Charisma, List’s performances would captivate audiences across Europe and create hysterical reactions that were later coined by Heinrich Heine as “Lisztomania.” Admirers would literally tear bits of his clothing, fight over broken piano strings and locks of his shoulder length hair. We see hysteria similar to this today in celebrity musicians which means, Liszt may have been the very first music superstar.

Sources: BBC, CPR, NPR, and Wikipedia.

Music Trivia: Answer 10

Just four days after Haydn’s death in 1809, two followers of a phrenologist bribed the gravedigger and stole the composers head. Phrenology is a now dis-credited scientific movement that attempted to associate a persons intellectual characteristics with aspects of cranial anatomy. The story gets more peculiar in 1820, when Haydn’s skull was discovered to be missing and a strangers skull was presented instead of his. Many bizarre events occurred surrounding the skull, until the 145-year-long burial came to an end when the 1954 procession reunited Haydn’s skull with its body. The strangers skull was never removed.

Sources: Classic FM, in Mozart’s Footsteps, The Musician’s Lounge, and Wikipedia.