Power Up: Focus on Modern Classical Music: Pretest

This is the diagnostic pretest for the Power Up: Focus on Modern Classical Music, the fifth of NAQT’s line of Power Up study guides.

A printable version with answer blanks suitable for distribution to a group of players is available for download, as is the answer key.

  1. What wind instrument has a high solo at the beginning of The Rite of Spring and represents the Grandfather in Peter and the Wolf?
  2. In what repetitive Maurice Ravel piece does the snare drum play a constant pattern underneath one long crescendo?
  3. What founder of the Second Viennese School wrote Pierrot Lunaire and created the twelve-tone method of composition?
  4. Jean Sibelius was a nationalist composer from what country, whose folklore inspired his tone poem “The Swan of Tuonela”?
  5. Who wrote a set of three Gymnopédies for piano, and served as a father figure to the group of French composers known as Les Six?
  6. What George Gershwin piece was written for Paul Whiteman’s band and opens with a clarinet glissando?
  7. “Nimrod” is a movement from the Enigma Variations of what composer whose first Pomp and Circumstance March is played at graduations?
  8. What German composer was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche to write the tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra?
  9. What conductor of the New York Philharmonic wrote the musicals Candide and West Side Story?
  10. A Henry Purcell melody forms the basis of what composer’s The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra?
  11. What composer wrote The Firebird and Petrushka for the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev?
  12. Pianist David Tudor premiered what John Cage piece in which the performer makes no sound at all?
  13. What French composer wrote Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and La Mer?
  14. What cantata by Carl Orff begins and ends with a hymn to Fate, “O Fortuna”?
  15. The American composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass both employ what highly repetitive musical style?
  16. What Austrian composer, who died before finishing his Symphony No. 10, set translated Chinese poems to music in The Song of the Earth?
  17. What Soviet composer included a “Dance of the Knights” in his ballet Romeo and Juliet?
  18. Aaron Copland wrote what ballet for Martha Graham that contains a set of variations on the Shaker tune “Simple Gifts”?
  19. What Soviet composer’s fifteen symphonies include ones nicknamed “Leningrad” and “Babi Yar”?
  20. What seven-movement suite by Gustav Holst opens with the piece “Mars, the Bringer of War”?

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