One month ago, The Washington Post Style Invitational challenged us to create “fictoids — totally bogus trivia — about music and the music world.” Having worked as an oboist for many years, I couldn’t possibly resist such a contest. So I’m posting all my entries, one of which earned an Honorable Mention.
I’m curious as to which of mine is your favorite. And of course feel free to make up your own musical trivia in my comment section, and to guess which of my musical fictoids won that Honorable Mention. (I reveal my winning fictoid at the end of this post — upside down to make it harder to cheat. :)
Here are my entries:
- Greedy J.S. Bach descendants tried to patent his Two and Three-Part Inventions.
- Antonio Vivaldi once sued himself for plagiarism … and won.
- Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” (from his Symphony No. 9) was originally entitled “Oy, Oy, Oy.”
- The world premiere of Verdi’s “Aida” ended in tragedy when the lead soprano accidentally crushed an elephant to death.
- Female harp players are so loathsome, that shrewish women are now referred to as harpies.
- For several years during George W. Bush’s presidency, the Dallas Symphony’s concert programs id’ed its brass section as trumpets, trombones, tubas, and Texas shorthorns.
- Composers George Frideric Handel, Georg Philipp Telemann, Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach were all so impoverished, they died of starvation. Hence, the name “Baroque composers.”
- Famed French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal never appeared on stage without a chilled glass of champagne. That’s why flautists are now known as flutists.
- Ludwig van Beethoven didn’t actually go deaf; he just pretended to be deaf because his wife and mother-in-law were so annoying.
- In a 1980 New York Philharmonic April Fools’ Day performance of Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp, flutist Julius Baker and harpist Ursula Holliger played each other’s instruments. The New York Times proclaimed theirs the best ever performance of the work.
- The Eastman School of Music was known as the Polaroid School of Music, until Kodak’s George Eastman won it in poker game.
And my Honorable Mention-winning entry is:
˙ɥʇɐǝp oʇ ʇuɐɥdǝןǝ uɐ pǝɥsnɹɔ ʎןןɐʇuǝpıɔɔɐ ouɐɹdos pɐǝן ǝɥʇ uǝɥʍ ʎpǝƃɐɹʇ uı pǝpuǝ ”ɐpıɐ“ s’ıpɹǝʌ ɟo ǝɹǝıɯǝɹd pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ
Tags: Antonio Vivaldi, Baroque, Bogus Trivia, Classical Music Humor, Dallas Symphony Humor, Dallas Texas, Eastman School Of Music, Flautist Humor, Flute Humor, Georg Philipp Telemann, George Eastman, George Frideric Handel, Harp Humor, J.S. Bach, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker, Kodak Humor, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart Humor, Music Humor & Verse, Music Review, Musical Fictoids, New York Philharmonic, New York Times Humor, Opera Humor, Polaroid Humor, Ursula Holliger, Verdi's Aida, Washington Post