The word “trivia” refers to facts that are insignificant although potentially interesting. Music trivia can be a fun party game, a music class activity, or just a neat way to impress people.
This article provides trivia questions in four categories (Pop music, Country music, Broadway music, and Classical music) so you can both educate yourself and show off to your friends. In addition to these music trivia questions and answers, the article will also include resources such as music trivia games and music quizzes to make your quest for further knowledge as easy as possible. So whether you’re looking for music trivia for kids, for an activity in a music appreciation class, or for personal edification, you’ll find it here. And remember, if you’re ever on a quiz-type game show, any trivia you know could stand you in good stead.
Pop Music Trivia
Popular music is statistically the best-known and most popular type, so your friends probably have an extensive knowledge base already. This means you’ll have to work harder if you want to stand out! Below are eleven musical trivia questions and answers in this category, which you can study yourself or use as a quiz or party game.
- What Canadian-born singer and songwriter wrote her first song “Fate Stay With Me” at age 10?
- Whose song “I’ll Be Missing You” written about her mysteriously murdered husband earned her a Grammy award in 1997?
- What Canadian-born singer’s first album, released in 2003, shot to the top of not only Canada’s charts but also Australia’s and the UK’s?
- What American rap artist became the first woman ever to release six platinum certified albums?
- Which popular Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) singer, having won five Grammy awards, also became the only artist in history to earn 56 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards?
- What Rhythm & Blues singer, who won his third Grammy for the song “Lean on Me,” started his career in the US Navy?
- What was the first rock opera released by the group Green Day? Upwards of fifteen million copies have been sold.
- What band was formed by a Scottish-born guitarist and his brother after dropping out of high school in Australia?
- What musician, who was kidnapped as a child by her mother, dropped out of college at the Berkeley School of Music in order to form a band with her boyfriend?
- What epic poem by Coleridge was memorialized in a song by Adrian Smith?
- What founding member of Fleetwood Mac was ranked as the number three top guitarist in history by Mojo magazine?
- Alanis Morissette
- Faith Evans
- Michael Bublé
- Missy Elliott
- Steven Curtis Chapman
- Bill Withers
- American Idiots
- Aimee Mann
- Rime of the Ancient Mariner
- Peter Green
Country music trivia
With hundreds of well-known artists both living and dead, country music has a long history and has evolved quite a bit over the years. And with its recent upsurge in popularity, it’s a relevant genre to teach to general music classes as well. Here are some music trivia questions and answers to get you started in this category.
- What famous popular singer of the twentieth century was known as “The Hillbilly Cat” when he sang country music?
- Who was the first female soloist ever in the Country Music Hall of Fame?
- What city in Tennessee is called “The birthplace of country music?”
- Whose album, Diamonds & Dirt, made him the first country singer in history with five chart-topping songs from the same album?
- With what style of country is Johnny Cash most often associated?
- By whom was the term “Country music” created in 1958?
- What Canadian Country Music artist was named Sexiest Vegetarian Alive in 2000 by PETA?
- What song, written and performed by Patsy Cline, was the first crossover pop hit recorded by a female singer?
- Which American artist’s first recorded track was a hit, becoming Canada’s longest-running single in 2005?
- What country singer from Texas grew up as the fourth oldest of eight siblings, has been married five times, and has five children?
- Whose album Wrecking Ball was released in 1995?
- Who has been given the informal title of Father of Contemporary Country Music?
- Elvis Presley
- Patsy Cline
- Bristol, Tennessee
- Rodney Crowell
- Outlaw Country
- Ernest Tubb
- Shania Twain
- “Walkin’ After Midnight”
- Carrie Underwood, “Inside Your Heaven”
- Kenny Rogers
- Emmylou Harris
- Hank Williams
Broadway, the style halfway between opera and Disney, has created its own world of singing, dancing, acting, and enchantment. Whether you live in New York and see all the productions or whether you’ve acted in your school’s stage version of your favorite musical movie, these trivia questions and answers will challenge and supplement your knowledge.
- What did the authors of Fiddler on the Roof do with the proceeds from the show when it opened in Poland?
- What was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s last musical together?
- What Star Trek star spent eight weeks playing Tevye on stage in a production of The Fiddler on the Roof?
- Which Broadway show, based on a book by TS Eliot, contains the the famous song “Memory?”
- What was Stephen Sondheim’s first musical in which he wrote both the lyrics and music?
- What is the modern name of the country ruled by the eponymous King in The King and I?
- Which multi-talented composer wrote the music for the two longest-running Broadway musicals to date?
- What famous play did My Fair Lady draw source material from?
- How many seats does a theater need to have in order to be a Broadway theater?
- In what four movie musicals did Marni Nixon dub most or all of the singing for the lead female singer?
- What famous Rodgers and Hammerstein song was originally written for Oklahoma! but ended up in Carousel?
- Donated them to a good cause; Poland’s Jewish monuments.
- The Sound of Music
- Leonard Nimoy
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
- Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
- Five hundred
- West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The King and I, An Affair to Remember
- “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
Classical music trivia
Because it has a history thousands of years old with multiple styles and sub-genres, Classical music has arguably the most extensive set of trivia. Start with these music trivia questions and answers, which can easily be turned into a music trivia game or music quiz.
- Which composer reportedly injured his hand (destroying his piano career) by using a stretching device meant to improve his playing abilities?
- What nickname was Schubert given due to his small stature?
- Which Renaissance composer, remembered mainly for madrigals and multiple murders, was not prosecuted because he was a nobleman?
- Who was the first composer to write a symphony nicknamed “Symphony Number Zero?”
- Which composer/pianist is legendary for his enormous hands?
- What was the most infamous use of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony Number Seven?
- What song from the 1928 opera Die Dreigroschenoper became a pop hit in the US, earning Ella Fitzgerald a Grammy award for a live performance in which she forgot the words and just made them up as she went along?
- Why was George Frideric Handel called “The great bear” while he lived in England?
- Who is said to have been kidnapped three times during his childhood because of his beautiful singing voice?
- Why did Tchaikovsky purportedly hold his chin with his left hand while conducting?
- Which opera allegedly received the infamous critique that it had “too many notes?”
- Which two composers had sisters who were probably even more talented than they were themselves?
- Robert Schumann
- “Little Mushroom”
- Carlo Gesualdo
- Anton Bruckner
- Sergei Rachmaninoff
- It was played at the announcement of Hitler’s death because he admired it so much
- “Mack the Knife”
- He was tall and wide and had a lumbering gait
- Orlando de Lassus
- He was afraid his head would fall off
- Mozart’s Il Seraglio
- Mendelssohn and Mozart
If you liked these music trivia quizzes, you may want to try your hand at the quizzes and games found on other websites as well. A few websites to try out after you’ve finished all the quizzes here include:
- A UK quizzing site
- Three music quizzes available on another British quiz website
- This trivia game website, which offers multiple levels of difficulty
- Some trivia on classical and popular music
- This site, with a quiz on British music for kids
- These classical and pop music quizzes
Once you’ve become an expert on music trivia, you can even write your own games and quizzes to test your friends. Have fun with these music trivia questions, and be sure to pass them on!