When it comes to classical music, many names pop-up in our minds and Mozart is one of them. Whether you like classical music or not, we all can agree on Mozart’s outstanding talent as a musician. As he once said, he is no painter or poet, he is a musician.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Austria on 27 January 1756. He is considered one of the most influential composers of the Classical era. He made around 600 compositions ranging from symphonies to operas and choral music.
He died very young, at age 35, but left behind one of the most popular compositions of any era. Mozart is one of the most beloved classical musicians today. Here are 20 fun facts about Mozart you might not know. So, keep reading…
20. His Sister Was A Better Musician
Maria Anna Mozart was Mozart’s older sister. She was such a good musician, just like her brother. Some historians believe she might have been even better. She used to tutor her brother and even her father, but once she turned teenager, she was forced to get married and her compositions were lost.
19. He Was A Show-Off
Mozart had a peculiar trick when playing the piano: he would cover the keys in cloth. This started as a game when he was six years old, but then it became a way to demonstrate how talented he was. Well, when you’re that good, you can do anything you want.
18. No Clarinets
The original Mozart composition of his “Symphony No. 33” had no clarinets at all. In fact, Mozart didn’t use clarinets in any of his compositions prior to 1771. Back in the time, clarinets weren’t popular. But then when he met clarinetist Anton Stadler, his pieces started using clarinets.
17. His Father Was Also A Musician
His father Leopold Mozart was also very talented in the music field. He was a violinist. One of his most famous pieces is “Trumpet Concerto” and “Toy Symphony”. Look them up and let your ears delight. He even published a manual on violin playing which is still used today when performing music of the 18th century.
16. He Composed Hundreds Of Pieces
Mozart composed around 600 pieces in his lifetime. If you ever want to listen to all of them in a non-stop Mozart cycle it would take you 202 hours to complete the task. This can also be translated into 8.4 days. So yes, it will take a whole week to listen to all Mozart’s works.
15. There’s A Frog Named After Him
Did you know there is a frog name after Mozart in southwestern Haiti? The Eleutherodactylus Amadeus is a frog species that can make a sound that resembles Mozart’s musical notes, hence its nickname: Mozart frog. What a talented animal.
14. He Didn’t Like His Job
When Mozart was 17 years old he worked as a musical servant for the court of the ruler of Salzburg, Austria. Back in the time, this was taken as a good job, even though it didn’t pay much. But Mozart was extremely unhappy. So when he turned 21, he asked the Bishop to release him because he wanted bigger opportunities than to compose church music.
13. He Wasn’t That Broke
Historians have always stated that Mozart was a poor man. But new findings have proven that it turns out that this might not be entirely true. Mozart was in fact in the top 5% of all wage earners in Austria. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to manage his money, so by the time he died, there wasn’t even enough money to bury him and he was sunken in many debts.
12. He Was Ambidextrous
It is believed that Mozart was left-handed, or at the very least, ambidextrous. Yet he would be forced to write with his right hand. This is why he composed his pieces with both hands. You know what they say… lefties are more creative.
11. A Talented Kid
Mozart was definitely a wunderkind. He started playing piano at age 4. And by the time he turned 6, he started composing his own music. His first mass was composed at age 12, and his first opera at age 14. Yeah, and some of us are still here in our 30s.
10. He Wasn’t Very Tall
Mozart was pretty short in size. He was just 5’4” (1.63 meters) tall and besides he was tiny, getting him the nickname for “petit”. The only part of his body that wasn’t tiny was his head, and no, I’m not saying this as an allegory for his brilliance and intelligence. In fact, his head was somewhat large compared to the rest of his body.
9. A Versatile Musician
Mozart wasn’t good only at the piano, but he also mastered other instruments. He was an expert on the keyboard, viola, and violin too. And any time he had the opportunity to try a new instrument, he would play it pretty much well.
8. The Mozart Effect
There’s a theory that listening to Mozart might make you smarter. This is called the “Mozart Effect”. It states that children or babies that are exposed to Mozart music, develop a greater level of intelligence. However, the theory then proved that listening to Mozart does gives your brain a boost to better perform mental tasks, but unfortunately, it only lasts 15 minutes.
7. He Was A Rock Star
Back in the day, classical music composers were like the rock stars of our times. They were seen as celebrities. So, like any other celebrity at any time, Mozart had a hard-partying lifestyle. Sometimes he has been referred to as an alcoholic, yet this is only a theory since nothing has been proved.
6. Huge Animal Fan
Mozart was an animal lover. He had several pets during his life. But his favorite one was a bird who Mozart taught to sing. The bird actually sings the opening to his “Piano Concerto Number 17, K 453”. Just another reason to like him even more.
5. What About DNA?
In 2004, several forensic researchers performed DNA tests on Mozart’s remains and his family’s and found out something really bizarre. As a matter of fact, the DNA didn’t match. This might mean two things: they weren’t really related or the skull of Mozart isn’t really his.
4. He Was A Prankster
Mozart was not only known for his compositions, but also for his practical jokes. He even has a piece called “A musical joke” to honor the joy he felt while playing pranks on people. No wonder why some people didn’t like him at all.
3. He Fell In Love With His Cousin
When Mozart was 21, he went on a journey throughout Europe, in which he met his 19-year-old cousin Maria Anna Thekla Mozart. Some letters prove they had more than a cousin relationship, but since Mozart wasn’t ready to commit himself to marry her, the relationship cooled.
2. He Didn’t Have A Proper Burial
Burial traditions during Mozart’s times were very important. In fact, only the super-rich people got one. Sadly, Mozart was an exception. He was buried in a communal grave with other bodies. This is why it is probably the skull used in the DNA test could not be Mozart’s.
1. Mozart: Cows’ Favorite Composer
As it turns out, Mozart’s music might not only be good for babies and children, but also for cows. In 2007, an Austrian farmer made an experiment of putting Mozart music for his cows to listen and the results were unbelievable. The cows started acting calmer and happier, and better yet they started to produce more milk.