Classical Music Quiz - Blowing in the Wind (Questions)

Unsurprisingly, this Quiz is all about the instruments and people that produce music using wind, i.e. their breath, though we are not including singers (who have their own internal instrument). There is a remarkable variety!

1. Which of these wind instruments is most likely to be the smallest?
[ ] Piccolo
[ ] Ocarina
[ ] Harmonica
[ ] Penny-whistle
2. The lustrous gold colour and ringing timbre of brass instruments make them natural attention-catchers, from military signalling and bands to the jazz scene. Which metals are combined to produce brass?
[ ] Copper and zinc
[ ] Copper and silver
[ ] Copper and tin
[ ] Copper and nickel
3. By a strange twist of language, the name of the first quite simple little woodwind instrument that many children ever learn to play is, in English, the same word we would now more naturally use for the machine on which their parents might seek to preserve the sound, and perhaps also the sight, of their performance.
What is the linking term?
[ ] Flute
[ ] Recorder
[ ] Violin
[ ] Whistle
4. Which of these instruments, technically, belongs least appropriately in the company of the others?
[ ] Oboe
[ ] Clarinet
[ ] Bassoon
[ ] Contrabassoon
5. This is a small, portable 'folk' instrument whose sound may well instantly evoke the great outdoors: the cowboy wilds of the North American plains perhaps, or the trenches of the Great War, or the verandah of a colonial villa in the long-lost days of Empire. Despite its popularity it has had a tough time being accepted as a 'real, serious' instrument; in good hands (and lips) it can render many classics of the violin repertoire, other than perhaps the concertos, and indeed there are concertos for this instrument in its own right.
Which is the instrument?
[ ] The flageolet
[ ] The harmonica
[ ] The penny-whistle
[ ] The fife
6. The Leader of a typical orchestra is always a violinist, but which instrument (for its clarity of tone) is traditionally called to provide the tuning-note when they are all preparing to perform?
[ ] The trumpet
[ ] The flute
[ ] The oboe
[ ] The clarinet
7. Which instrument, normally associated with marching bands and jazz, makes a soulful solo appearance in a piece called The Old Castle in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition?
[ ] The clarinet
[ ] The tuba
[ ] The saxophone
[ ] The helicon
8. Only one of the following instruments is blown with the mouth: which one?
[ ] Northumbrian pipes
[ ] Accordion
[ ] Cornet
[ ] Harmonium
9. We don't usually, for one moment, consider the piano to be a wind instrument; usually it needs a player to sit and 'hit' it with whatever degree of artistry, and in the appropriate style. Yet sometimes a piano will, in a tenable manner of speaking, be played by means of wind and without a human anywhere near it: how come?
[ ] The wind, or a draft, may be blowing through the strings as with an 'aeolian harp'
[ ] The strings of the piano may be excited into vibration by other music nearby, such as a passing band
[ ] The player-piano ('reproducing') mechanism is powered pneumatically, with holes in the paper roll 'recognised' by an intake of air pressure, and the hammers then activated by a system of windblown bellows
[ ] The piano strings vibrate of their own accord when there is a shockwave in the air
10. Who 'tamed' the open-air hunting-horn by bringing it in off his patron's estate to form a part of the developing symphony orchestra?
[ ] Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
[ ] Franz Joseph Haydn
[ ] Ludwig van Beethoven
[ ] Jean-Baptiste Lully

 

Classical Music Quiz - Blowing in the Wind (Answers)
1. Which of these wind instruments is most likely to be the smallest?
[ ] Piccolo
[x] Ocarina
[ ] Harmonica
[ ] Penny-whistle
The sopranino ocarina is barely the size of a small piece of fruit
2. The lustrous gold colour and ringing timbre of brass instruments make them natural attention-catchers, from military signalling and bands to the jazz scene. Which metals are combined to produce brass?
[x] Copper and zinc
[ ] Copper and silver
[ ] Copper and tin
[ ] Copper and nickel
The proportions can be varied, but these are the two. The ranks of spun brass resonators on the horizontally-mounted 'west door trumpet' division of the organ at St Paul's Cathedral are, in every respect, a shining example
3. By a strange twist of language, the name of the first quite simple little woodwind instrument that many children ever learn to play is, in English, the same word we would now more naturally use for the machine on which their parents might seek to preserve the sound, and perhaps also the sight, of their performance.
What is the linking term?
[ ] Flute
[x] Recorder
[ ] Violin
[ ] Whistle
Apparently we still call the instrument 'recorder' from an old Italian term involving memory; most other languages refer to it as a kind of flute (the French call it a 'beaked flute' because of its mouthpiece shape, and as distinct from the 'transverse flute' whose hole is blown across by orchestral musicians)
4. Which of these instruments, technically, belongs least appropriately in the company of the others?
[ ] Oboe
[x] Clarinet
[ ] Bassoon
[ ] Contrabassoon
The clarinet has a single reed; all the others are double. If you were looking for a replacement entry for present purposes, we might recommend the Cor Anglais (not, as its name might suggest, a horn); it is a double-reed instrument that sounds a fifth below the oboe, so it is a transposing instrument, and it has a lovely, buttery, covered tone thanks to the distinctive pear shape of its body towards the opening at the bottom
5. This is a small, portable 'folk' instrument whose sound may well instantly evoke the great outdoors: the cowboy wilds of the North American plains perhaps, or the trenches of the Great War, or the verandah of a colonial villa in the long-lost days of Empire. Despite its popularity it has had a tough time being accepted as a 'real, serious' instrument; in good hands (and lips) it can render many classics of the violin repertoire, other than perhaps the concertos, and indeed there are concertos for this instrument in its own right.
Which is the instrument?
[ ] The flageolet
[x] The harmonica
[ ] The penny-whistle
[ ] The fife
One of those instruments that people seem either to love or hate!
6. The Leader of a typical orchestra is always a violinist, but which instrument (for its clarity of tone) is traditionally called to provide the tuning-note when they are all preparing to perform?
[ ] The trumpet
[ ] The flute
[x] The oboe
[ ] The clarinet
It is always the oboist who plays a treble A (at 440 Hz, in most cases)
7. Which instrument, normally associated with marching bands and jazz, makes a soulful solo appearance in a piece called The Old Castle in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition?
[ ] The clarinet
[ ] The tuba
[x] The saxophone
[ ] The helicon
A highly atmospheric, if lugubrious piece!
8. Only one of the following instruments is blown with the mouth: which one?
[ ] Northumbrian pipes
[ ] Accordion
[x] Cornet
[ ] Harmonium
The cornet is a high brass instrument; the Northumbrian pipes, unlike their Scots equivalent, are 'powered' from a bladder of air under the player's forearm, the accordion's bellows are also activated by the arms, and the harmonium (or reed organ) is supplied with wind by pedal-driven bellows
9. We don't usually, for one moment, consider the piano to be a wind instrument; usually it needs a player to sit and 'hit' it with whatever degree of artistry, and in the appropriate style. Yet sometimes a piano will, in a tenable manner of speaking, be played by means of wind and without a human anywhere near it: how come?
[ ] The wind, or a draft, may be blowing through the strings as with an 'aeolian harp'
[ ] The strings of the piano may be excited into vibration by other music nearby, such as a passing band
[x] The player-piano ('reproducing') mechanism is powered pneumatically, with holes in the paper roll 'recognised' by an intake of air pressure, and the hammers then activated by a system of windblown bellows
[ ] The piano strings vibrate of their own accord when there is a shockwave in the air
In a manner of speaking, this could be defined as a wind-powered piano ... ! But of course, the wind (as inside the works of some organs) is for control purposes rather than actually producing the sound
10. Who 'tamed' the open-air hunting-horn by bringing it in off his patron's estate to form a part of the developing symphony orchestra?
[ ] Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
[x] Franz Joseph Haydn
[ ] Ludwig van Beethoven
[ ] Jean-Baptiste Lully
Haydn, the 'father of the symphony', apparently first took this step at Esterhazy