Quiz on great musicians

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on January 26, 2018

On the 362nd birth anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a quiz on great musicians

1 Which Indian musician originally started his career as a dancer in his brother’s troupe before going on to learn an instrument under Allauddin Khan?

2 Which legendary 20th-century musician got his most famous nickname from the size of his mouth?

3 The Allman Brothers classic, ‘Jessica,’ was written by Dickey Betts as a tribute to one of the greatest musicians ever, a Belgian born Romani-French guitarist. Who was this maestro to whom the song was dedicated?

4 The ‘Three Bs’ was a term coined by Peter Cornelius in 1854 to describe the three greatest composers in history — Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Hector Berlioz. But the feats of another composer within a few years prompted conductor Hans von Bülow to substitute the name of Berlioz with which other great?

5 Pele:Birth of a Legend is an American film directed by Jeff and Michael Zimabalist about the early life of the footballer. Which legendary composer scored the music for the film?

6 The Beatles are easily the bestselling band in history, with over 800 million albums sold. What name did founder John Lennon give to his band in the late ’50s, when he was joined by Paul McCartney and then George Harrison?

7 Joao Gilberto was a Brazilian singer and guitarist who was regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. What genre of music, literally meaning ‘new wave’ or ‘new trend’ did he start in the late ’50s which was an inspiration for the likes of RD Burman?

8 Jean Wyclef is one of the most respected and popular musicians from his country and even tried to run for President in 2010. He came into the limelight as a member of the Fugees before embarking on a spectacular solo career. Which country does Wyclef hail from?

9 Which great Italian performer sang as one of the ‘Three Tenors’ along with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras in some of the biggest events, including the 1990 World Cup and the 2006 Winter Olympics?

10 This African musician first came into the limelight as a performer for the group, Manhattan Brothers, and then went on to start her own band, The Skylarks. She is regarded as the person who took African music to the world and was the first African woman to win a Grammy. Name this great artist, particularly remembered for her rendition of songs like ‘Pata Pata’ and ‘Soweto Blues’?


1. Pandit Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro who has also scored music for films like Pather Panchali

2. Trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong. He was called ‘satchel mouth’, which later got shortened to ‘Satchmo’ during a tour of the UK

3. ‘Django’ Reinhardt, regarded as possibly the most significant European jazz talent ever

4. Johannes Brahms, who was easily the most popular classical musician at the end of the 19th century

5. AR Rahman, who has also won two Grammy awards for the soundtrack and song from the film Slumdog Millionaire

6. The Quarrymen. They became the Beatles in early 1960

7. Bossa Nova, which can be heard in songs like ‘Aja Aja Main Hu Pyaar Tera’ from the film Teesri Manzil

8. Haiti

9. Luciano Pavarotti

10. Miriam Makeba, who was dubbed ‘Mama Africa’

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup; Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on January 26, 2018
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