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Ten Pieces - Ludwig van Beethoven
Do you know how many symphonies Beethoven wrote?

Ten Pieces - Ludwig van Beethoven

If you are familiar with the BBC Ten Pieces, you will enjoy this KS2 Music quiz about the composer Ludwig van Beethoven and including some of his symphonies. If you own any of his work, you might want to put one on as you play the quiz - it could help you get 10 out of 10!

By all accounts Beethoven was a giant of Western classical music, overshadowed perhaps only by Bach. He is still one of the most famous and inspiring composers of all time.

Did you know that the third-largest crater on the planet Mercury is named after Beethoven? There have also been many films made about him and his music.

Did you know...

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1.
One of the most remarkable facts about Beethoven's life is that he spent his last 25 years or so with a major, and relevant, disability. What was this?
He went deaf
He lost the use of his right hand
He went blind
He suffered from fainting fits and lapses of memory
Beethoven lived from 1770 to 1827 and lost his hearing around 'halfway' in 1800. He continued to pound away at his piano and to compose music that he would never hear. He did not know the audience was applauding his final symphony (1824) until he turned round and could see them clapping.
2.
The German national anthem (as it now is) was composed by Beethoven's colleague Haydn, but a piece by Beethoven has now been adopted as the European Anthem. From which of Beethoven's larger works does this piece come?
The Fifth Symphony
The Ninth Symphony
One of his operas
The Requiem Mass
It is a fine, joyous, stirring piece for orchestra and singers.
3.
At least in the early days of the symphony as an art-form, how many movements ( = separate sections or pieces) would one symphony contain?
Two
Three
Four
Five
There would be a fairly fast or serious movement to begin with, another to end with; and in between, a 'slow movement' followed either by a minuet (a dance in triple-time) or a scherzo (a quick, usually more light-hearted movement).
4.
Many of these famous composers began their active learning and making of music at astonishingly young ages (some of them, of course, hadn't long to live, so an early start may have been no bad thing!). Which of these age data are believed to be correct for Beethoven?
First public piano performance aged 7; first published composition aged 13
First public piano performance aged 6; first published composition aged 11
First public piano performance aged 8; first published composition aged 14
First public piano performance aged 5; first published composition aged 12
If you are in KS2 you had better look to your own laurels!
5.
We think of Beethoven as 'German' (born in Bonn, after all; but there 'wasn't a Germany' yet, as we know it, back then), but he did most of his work in another German-speaking city: which one?
Vienna
Venice
Berlin
Leipzig
Vienna seemed almost to be the centre of the musical universe about 200 years ago.
6.
Beethoven played a vital part in the development of many forms of music. Which of the following was NOT a field in which he was musically active?
The piano sonata
Brass bands
The string quartet
Symphonies
There are many classic examples in all the other genres.
7.
There is one Beethoven piece that almost all learners of the classical piano try to play. It is dedicated to a woman (nobody quite seems to know exactly who she was), and its simple title is 'Fuer ~' (i.e., 'for') ... (what was her name?)
Suzanne
Maria
Elise
Grethe
The chances are that you would recognise Fuer Elise from its first four or five notes! (Try it!)
8.
How many symphonies did he write, altogether?
5
6
9
10
It is strange how many great composers ended up writing this many, no more nor less.
9.
As with many composers, several of Beethoven's greatest works were given titles or nicknames. Which ONE of these classical descriptive pieces was his work?
The Moonlight Sonata
Clair de Lune
The Raindrop Prelude
Butterflies in the Rain
Another piece that fairly recent beginners like to try (they rarely get far into it!) and which you'd almost certainly recognise at once. The other answers were from more recent composers (2: Debussy; 3: Chopin).
10.
Dramatic to the last, Beethoven died at the height of a thunderstorm and was buried with great honour. One of the close supporters at his funeral was another, younger composer who would die and be buried beside him the following year. Who was he?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Franz Schubert
'Papa' Jozef Haydn
Christoph von Gluck
This was indeed the young Schubert.

 

Author:  Ian Miles

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