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50 Essential Facts About Music

The 50 facts that you MUST know on your way to becoming a musical expert!

There are 4 families of instrument: brass, percussion, woodwind and stringInstruments
There is now a 5th family: electronic instruments
Pianos are both a stringed and a percussion instrument
Before valves were added to instruments, tubas were "serpents"
Cellos were originally called bass violins
Mozart used to jump on tables and pretend to be a cat!Composers
Haydn was expelled from school for cutting off a boy's pigtail
Mendelssohn lost the only copy of a composition and had to rewrite it
Beethoven lost his hearing but continued to compose music
Tchaikovsky had a fear that his head would fall off if he did not hold it!
"Pop" music is short for "popular music"Pop Music
Pop music began in the 1870s with the invention of the phonograph
It wasn't until the 1950s that pop music took off with Rock 'n' Roll
Successful pop songs have certain elements
Today there are over 100 different types of pop music
"Rap God" by Eminem has over 4 words in it per second!Records
Queen's "Greatest Hits" album has spent over 1,000 weeks in the Top 40
Paul McCartney performed the first live concert broadcast into space
The Flaming Lips performed 8 shows in 8 cities in just 1 day
After Michael Jackson's death he had 13 singles in the Top 40
The word "orchestra" comes from the Greek for "dancing place"Orchestras
The Royal Danish Orchestra is the oldest, founded in 1448
The word "karaoke" is Japanese for "empty orchestra"
There is an orchestra whose instruments are made of vegetables
A symphony orchestra is made up of a minimum of 90 musicians
Western music notation was born during the RenaissanceNotation
The Ancient Sumerians had a musical notation system
The musical staff was invented by Guido d'Arezzo C. 1,000 CE
There are many music notation systems used around the world
There is even a musical notation system for blind people to use
Notes indicate pitch and durationReading Music
Notes are placed on a staff. Without this they would be meaningless
Staffs require clefs. There are five of these
If the range of music is too large for a staff ledger lines are needed
Accidentals show musicians when a pitch has been raised or lowered
The best selling musicians of all time are the BeatlesMost Popular
The best selling album of all time is the Eagles Greatest Hits
The best selling single of all time is Bing Crosby's White Christmas
Elvis Presley is the best selling solo artist
Madonna has sold more records than any other female
According to Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan is the greatest song writerWriters
The richest songwriter of all time is Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lennon and McCartney of Beatles fame are the most famous songwriters
Ed Sheeran writes songs for himself and other artists
Another song writing duo is Elton John and Bernie Taupin
The Grammy Awards are the most prestigious music awardsAwards
The British Record Industry Trust Awards are known as the BRITS
The MOBO Awards honour music of black origin
The Mercury Prize is given for the best album released in the UK
The oldest European music award is the Dutch EMA

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