The longest and slowest piece of music in history, designed to go on for 639 years, is being played on a German church organ in the town of Halberstadt. It was composed by John Cage (1912-1992) and called "As Slow As Possible". The performance started in 2001.
Music was sent down a telephone line for the first time in 1876, the year the phone was invented.
The first composer to use a typewriter as an orchestral instrument was the American George Antheil (1900-1959) who once described himself as the “bad boy of music”.
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) was buried at the Père Lachaise cemetery in France, but at his own request, had his heart removed and sent to Poland to be buried there.
A wealthy widow named Madam von Meck financed the Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) for over 13 years. Even though they exchanged intimate correspondence, they never met.
The national orchestra of the Principality of Monaco is larger than the country’s army. Monaco is situated at France's southeastern corner, near the Italian border. With an area of 1.9 square miles (0.73 square kilometers), it is smaller than New York City's Central Park.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) began composing music at the age of five. Despite producing numerous concertos, operas, masses and hundreds of chamber piece he died virtually penniless.
Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, also managed a troupe of dancing chickens. "How?" one wonders.
Johann Sebastian Bach had 20 children. His first wife had seven and his second wife had thirteen. Although Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, he was not recognized as a great composer. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
It is rumored that the composer Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was worried that his head would fall off during a concert.
The composer Debussy (1862-1918) was once arrested for shop-lifting a tie.
The French composer Eric Satie (1866-1925) wrote a musical piece called "Genuine Flabby Preludes for a Dog." He also spent a week in jail for being rude to a critic.
After the opening performance of Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire" on October 16th 1912, the police had to be called in the break up a brawl among the audience.
The composer Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) wrote a piece for voice and flatulence, hated Italians and died after accidentally poking his foot with a conducting stick, a device common at the time. He refused to have an amputation and eventually died of the consequences.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1828) was supposedly only 5 foot four and is reported to have once thrown eggs at a waiter. He is known to have had a fiery temper.
The Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-1881) had a passion for vodka and once wrote a piece for a dog and a canary.
Schubert's friends called him “Schwammerl” (German for fungus or mushroom). His private, informal concerts - known as Schubertiades - were likely to have been much more intimate than most people think.
The German composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) virtually destroyed his fingers using a device supposed to stretch them and eventually tried to kill himself by jumping into the Rhine, a popular form of suicide at the time.
The composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) owned two poodles named Speck and Dreck and two spaniels named Peps and Fips. Although he was born in the Jewish quarter of Leipzig, he became infamous in later life for his anti-Semitic views.
There’s a legend that Guiseppe Tartini (1692-1770) composed "The Devil's Trill" - a sonata for violin and piano after a dream in which the Devil appeared at the foot of his bed playing the violin. It is difficult to play even by modern standards. In the 19th century there was a myth that Tartini must have had six fingers on his left hand, thereby making the sonata easier to play.
The composer Frederick Delius (1862-1934) spent part of his life running an orange plantation in Florida. As a young man he was known as “Fritz” to his German parents and family and “Fred” to his friends.
The famous Russian composer Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was also a professional chemist. He worked in the laboratory of Emil Erlenmeyer working on benzene derivatives. Musically, he is best known for his symphonies, his two string quartets, and his opera Prince Igor.
If you were in Vienna during the late 19th century and had gone to the coffeehouse called "The Red Hedgehog" you might have seen Brahms there - it was his regular hangout.
The Bohemian composer Antonin Dvorák (1841-1904) wrote some of his most well-known music while living in the small Midwestern town of Spilleville, Iowa.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, George Philip Telemann (1681-1767) wrote more music than any other composer. He composed twelve complete sets of services (one cantata every Sunday) for a year, 78 services for special occasions, 40 operas, 600-700 orchestral suites, 44 passions, along with numerous concerti, sonatas and chamber music for various instrumental combinations. In his time he was regarded as Germany’s leading composer.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), who composed 104 symphonies during his long life, perfected the four movement symphonic form that lasts to this day. By the time of his death he was the most celebrated composer in Europe.
One of the shortest national anthems in the world is that of Japan, (entitled “Kimigayo”) at only eleven measures long. However, to compensate for its brevity it is performed extremely slowly, thus making it one of the slowest national anthems in the world. However, the national anthem of Uganda is only 8 measure long.
The length of a drumstick ranges from 4.15 cm (16.3 in) to 38.5 cm (15.1 in), and weighs between 40 g (1.4 oz) and 70 g (2.5 oz). The top of a drumstick is called the tip, which narrows down to form the stick's neck.
The largest playable accordion in the world is 253-cm (99.6-in) tall, 190-cm (74.8-in) wide, and 85-cm (33.4-in) deep, and weighs approximately 200 kg (440 lb). The instrument, built by Giancarlo Francenella (Italy), bears the name "Castelfidardo" after the town in Ancona, Italy, in which it was constructed.
The longest drumming marathon by an individual lasted for 120 hours and was achieved by Russ Prager (USA), from 9 - 14 March 2009, at the Sacramento Guitar Center, Sacramento, USA.
The deepest concert was performed by Katie Melua (UK) and her band at 303 m (994 ft) below sea level, on Statoil's Troll A gas rig, off the coast of Bergen, Norway on 1 October 2006. Ms Melua performed two 30-minute concerts to an audience of 20 oilrig workers, each of whom had won a ticket to see the performance.
According to Guiness World Records, the longest church organ marathon lasted for 36 hr 3 min and was achieved by Nina Irslinger (Norway) at the Evje church in Evje, Norway, on 4 and 5 April 2009.
According to Guiness World Records, the fastest harmonica player is Nicky Shane (USA) who played “When the Saints Go Marching In” at a speed of 285 beats per minute in SRS Studios, Santa Barbara, California, USA, on 8 September 2005.
Carnegie Hall was built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1891, it is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical music and popular music. Annual earnings, including overtime, of a Carnegie Hall stagehand: $90,000
The world's largest orchestra gathered in BC Place Stadium., in Vancouver, Canada. It was comprised of the entire Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, plus about 6400 band students, who came from about 160 across the province. They played an arrangement from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, for 9 minutes 44 seconds. The old record was set in Birmingham, England when 3500 musicians got together to play for seven minutes and 42 seconds.
The British National Anthem “God Save The King” was played non-stop 16 or 17 times by a German military band on the platform of Rathenau railway station, Brandenburg, Germany on the morning of February 9 1909. The reason was that King Edward VII was inside the train trying to get into the uniform of a German Field-Marshall before he could emerge.
On 10 May 2009, a confirmed audience of 100,000 in the Indian city of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, smashed the record for the world’s largest choir. The mass sing-along in Telugu, the language of the Andhra Pradesh state, broke the previous 72-year-old record held by a choir of 60,000 at a contest held in what is now Wroclaw, Poland.
It is thought that one of the loudest pieces of music ever written, and in parts, one of the quietest, was the orchestral suite “The Planets” written around 1915 by the English composer, Gustav Holst.