Buy this track on iTunes ADD Add Favourite

Last week, for the In Concert quiz, we flew down to Rio. This week, we're firing up our rocket boosters and heading to points extra-terrestrial, in honour of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, part of a brilliant concert by the San Francisco Symphony on Sunday's program.

The links between music and astronomy have always been both numerous and strong. The Ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras speculated that celestial bodies emitted a unique hum he called the Harmony of the Spheres. Later thinkers, from the philosopher Plato to the astronomer Johannes Kepler, also picked up on the concept.

This Music of the Spheres was never thought to be audible; rather it was music to be "perceived not by the ear but by the intellect." The numerical relationships in astronomical equations are a kind of harmony, and music, after all, also has mathematical foundations.

But it's more than just that. There's something about astronomy and music that seems to attract similar minds – or even run in families. Galileo Galilei's father, Vincenzo, was a composer, as was his brother, Michelagnolo. It's also not uncommon to meet people who share a passion for both math and music. The American composer Charles Ives, famously, was a father of the modern insurance industry. He only moonlighted as a composer.

Celestial bodies have inspired poets and composers from Galileo's day right up to the Space Age. And today, we can even listen to a kind of audible music of the spheres.

But sometimes, as in Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, the reference to celestial bodies in music is purely incidental. All three of our clues this week have a somewhat, ahem, tangential relationship to actual celestial bodies.

 PLAYYour challenge is to identify the extra-terrestrial destinations named in the titles of three musical examples (separated by the sound of a bell.)


Don't answer here on the blog. Email your answers to Three correct entrants will win a recently released classical CD.

Last week's quiz celebrated travel destinations in the South America. The correct answers were Argentina, from the song "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina"; Ipanema, the oceanfront neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, from the classic bossa nova tune "Garota de Ipanema" ("The Girl from Ipanema"); and finally, the country Brazil, or, as it is spelled there, Brasil, from the title of Heitor Villa-Lobos' Bachiana Brasileira No. 5. (Note that Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, was not accepted as a correct answer. If the Bachianas Brasileiras were Bachianas Brasilienses, it might have been, but Brasileira is the demonym of Brazil, not Brasilia.)

There were four winners this week: Debbie Giesbrecht of Edmonton; Sharmini Arulanandam of Mississauga, ON; Mary Anne Cree of Toronto; and Jeff Queen of Lunenberg, NS.

Related links:

Canadian debut of Moby Dick at Calgary Opera

Leonard Cohen reveals his new classical protégé

Ed Robertson and Chris Hadfield prepare to collaborate between earth and space

Share this post

In Concert quiz: Life on Mars

Last week, for the In Concert quiz, we flew down to Rio. This week, we're firing up our rocket booste…


display   Oldest First |  Newest First
No one has commented on this post. Post a comment to start the conversation.
display   Oldest First |  Newest First
Some streams are not available outside of Canada. If you are located in Canada, please Contact us and we'll respond as quickly as we can.

Login required

Oops - you have to be logged in to add to My Saved Items.