Examination findings

Some curious answers for the Society of Arts published in the Musical Times (English Journal), July 1888:

The Examiner's report on the papers worked by the candidates in the recent Theoretical Examinations of the Society of Arts shows some very curious facts. … Mistakes in spelling have not been accredited with loss to to the writers if the information intended to be conveyed was in the main correct.  Thus, when it was stated that Brahms wrote a ""Villain Concerto"", the fact implied was recorded in the writer's favour, and the orthography, as well as the criticism involved in the statement, were overlooked.  The name Gounod was written Guonod, Gunod, Gunoud; yet the name of Mendelssohn offered no difficulty to the spellers, though in more than one place it was stated that one of his works was the oratorio ""Elizah.""  The biographical particulars concerning the musicians whose names were placed upon the paper were again both curious and interesting.  It was stated the Meyerbeer lived between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; that Beethoven was born in 1770, and died in 1887; that Schumann was born in 1710 and died in 1856; that Dvořák was the name of a German opera of the seventeenth century; that Bishop was organist of Westminster Abbey and of the Chapel Royal, and that his most important work was the ""Misolto Bough.""  The composer of ""Mors et Vita"" was variously stated to be Mozart, Dr. Stainer, and Agust Manns; the composer of the ""Talisman"" was Tallis, and in correction of the paper, one kindly wrote relative to Brahms, ""You mean, Brahams, the well-known sea song writer,"" but offered no more information on the subject.


In another account (January 1931):

Haydn was one of Dr. maham Lee's subjects during a lecture course at Harrogate, and as a light touch he quoted this from a schoolboy's essay: ""Haydn's father and mother were pheasants.  When he was eight years old he was turned out-of-doors, and he went into choir practice.  He remained in it until he was seventeen.  Before he died, he said: ""Carry me to the pianoforte."" When he was at the pianoforte he played over the book of Genesis three times.""


Cited in: Scholes, Percy (1947) The Mirror of Music: 1844-1944.  London: Novello, p. 631-3.