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Stories and Test Questions from Missouri Music Teachers

  • Agnus Dei was a woman composer famous for her church music.
  • Refrain means don't do it. A refrain in music is the part you better not try to sing.
  • A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.
  • John Sebastian Bach died from 1750 to the present.
  • Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was rather large.
  • Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling him. I guess he could not hear so good. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.
  • Henry Purcell is a well known composer few people have ever heard of.
  • Aaron Copland is one of your most famous contemporary composers. It is unusual to be contemporary. Most composers do not live until they are dead.
  • An opera is a song of bigly size.
  • In the last scene of Pagliacci, Canio stabs Nedda who is the one he really loves. Pretty soon Silvio also gets stabbed, and they all live happily ever after.
  • When a singer sings, he stirs up the air and makes it hit any passing eardrums. But if he is good, he knows how to keep it from hurting.
  • Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel.
  • I know what a sextet is but I had rather not say.
  • Caruso was at first an Italian. Then someone heard his voice and said he would go a long way. And so he came to America.
  • A good orchestra is always ready to play if the conductor steps on the odium.
  • Morris dancing is a country survival from times when people were happy.
  • Most authorities agree that music of antiquity was written long ago.
  • Probably the most marvelous fugue was the one between the Hatfields and McCoys.
  • My very best liked piece of music is the Bronze Lullaby.
  • My favorite composer is Opus.
  • A harp is a nude piano.
  • A tuba is much larger than its name.
  • Instruments come in many sizes, shapes and orchestras.
  • You should always say celli when you mean there are two or more cellos.
  • Another name for kettle drums is timpani. But I think I will just stick with the first name and learn it good.
  • A trumpet is an instrument when it is not an elephant sound.
  • While trombones have tubes, trumpets prefer to wear valves.
  • The double bass is also called the bass viol, string bass, and bass fiddle. It has so many names because it is so huge.
  • When electric currents go through them, guitars start making sounds. So would anybody.
  • Question: What are kettle drums called? Answer: Kettle drums.
  • Cymbals are round, metal CLANGS!
  • A bassoon looks like nothing I have ever heard.
  • Last month I found out how a clarinet works by taking it apart. I both found out and got in trouble.
  • Question: Is the saxophone a brass or a woodwind instrument? Answer: Yes.
  • The concertmaster of an orchestra is always the person who sits in the first chair of the first violins. This means that when a person is elected concertmaster, he has to hurry up and learn how to play a violin real good.
  • For some reason, they always put a treble clef in front of every line of flute music. You just watch.
  • I can't reach the brakes on this piano!
  • The main trouble with a French horn is it's too tangled up.
  • Anyone who can read all the instrument notes at the same time gets to be the conductor.
  • Instrumentalist is a many-purposed word for many player-types.
  • The flute is a skinny-high shape-sounded instrument.
  • The most dangerous part about playing cymbals is near the nose.
  • A contra-bassoon is like a bassoon, only more so.
  • Tubas are a bit too much.
  • Music instrument has a plural known as orchestra.
  • I would like for you to teach me to play the cello. Would tomorrow or Friday be best?
  • My favorite instrument is the bassoon. It is so hard to play people seldom play it. That is why I like the bassoon best.
  • It is easy to teach anyone to play the maracas. Just grip the neck and shake him in rhythm.
  • Just about any animal skin can be stretched over a frame to make a pleasant sound once the animal is removed.


Source: Missouri School Music Newsletter, collected by Harold Dunn, provided by Heidi Worth