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What Do You Know About Classical Music?
A variety of online classical music quizzes offer more than an entertaining distraction.

by Drew McManus
March 6, 2006

So you think you know about music. Care to put your knowledge to the test? How about the armchair musicians out there, ever wonder which instrument would suit your personality? Do you think the music you listen to tells others about your personality? Think you have what it takes to get into a music conservatory? A bevy of online music quizzes and tests can help you find the answers to those questions and more

Everything Under The Sun Quizzes

The internet offers a host of entertaining, and sometimes humbling, quizzes about a variety of topics. Among the more comprehensive sites is which hosts one of the largest varieties of classical music oriented quizzes available.

For instance, you can test your knowledge of classical composers. There are more than a dozen quizzes designed around a single composer or you can quiz yourself on periods of classical music (the "modern music" quiz is labeled as "tough" and they aren't kidding). Some of the quizzes are downright clever such as the "classical connections" quiz, which boasts that it tests your ability to "pick the connection between each piece of classical music and well, just about anything else". Along the same lines is wonderfully clever movie composer and director quiz which really gets you thinking about how strong of a role music from certain composers plays in shaping style of a particular movies director (can Steven Spielberg even make a movie without using John Williams' music?).

Are you one of those people who think you're an expert on any particular subject after having a dinner party conversation with someone that actually is an expert? Then you might find the instrument quizzes at a humbling experience. There's a quiz for just about every instrument, even a tuba quiz (and as a tubist, I can proudly say that I scored 10 out of 10).

So That's What A Narcissist Would Play features a quiz designed to tell you what instrument you would play based on your personality entitled, appropriately enough, "If you were in an orchestra, what instrument would match your personality?". Although it's very entertaining, I wouldn't place any scientific merit on the quiz as the author obviously has a thing for the oboe. Regardless of the scientific merit, the quiz is a lot of fun and a good conversation starter the next time you attend one of those orchestra functions which the musicians attend.

Speaking of psychology and music, features a music personality quiz entitled "The Do-Re-Mi's of Personality" designed to tell you how other people see you based on what types of music you listen to. They promise results are instant, free, and anonymous.

Mahler Has A First Name? features 14 different composer based quizzes. Two of the quizzes categorized as "hard" require you to select the composer based only on their first name. Some people today might think "Prince" was one of the first starts to popularize the use of a single name classical giants like Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms have been there and done that. Although Beethoven may not be the most difficult first name among composers to remember, how about Corelli or Bruch?

If you like a game show setting then offers a feature where you compete against "opponents" in an easy or difficult setting.

Quick, What's The Bottom Note Of A IV7 Chord In Second Inversion In The Key Of G# Minor?

If you ever wondered what you have to know to pass the theory entrance exam for a music conservatory, now you can find out. The Peabody Conservatory publishes a variety of sample theory exams right on their website, each designed to find out exactly what you do and don't know. There are four tests, covering every level of incoming student: undergraduate, advanced undergraduate, gradate, and post graduate (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

But what if you're already a theory geek, is there any way you can test your knowledge? Then the "Music Theory for the true Music Theorist" quiz designed by a music theory professor from Arizona should force you to connect a few neurons.

So there you have it. The next time you feel like whittling away some time at work, skip the game of solitaire and exercise your gray matter with some of these classical music quizzes.

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