MiM quiz – Explorer level / Education

Remember, this quiz is not about testing your knowledge about contemporary music. It's all about getting to know the four composers - their music, techniques, but also inspirations and private stories. We invite you to take on this challenge - discover the universe of four personalities and dive in into their music.



Scandals are part of the history of 20th-century music (in the 21st century scandals are not so easy to come by). Three of our four composers became protagonists of scandals for reasons listed below. Which composer is concerned in each case?

He was the main instigator of the charivari organized for one of the greatest 20-century composers to protest against what he believed were symptoms of regression and “false modernity” in his music.

In 1945, in Paris Pierre Boulez with a group of young composer’s from Olivier Messiaen’s class organized a “charivari” during a performance of a neoclassical piece by Igor Stravinsky. For the young followers of dodecaphony the Russian composer was at that time an embodiment of regressive tendencies in music.

Together with colleagues sharing his beliefs the composer disrupted a concert of a famous orchestra led by an eminent conductor, protesting in this way against the fossilized and bourgeois, in his view, forms and contents of concert life.

In 1969, in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw young composers, with Louis Andriessen among them, sought to prevent Bernard Haitink from beginning a concert, protesting against the “undemocratic structure of the Concertgebouw Orchestra” and the lack of innovative contemporary works in its programmes

The religious content of the works outraged the state authorities.

In 1968 Arvo Pärt’s Credo was performed in Tallinn – the piece featured the words “Credo in Jesum Christum” (I believe in Jesus Christ). The religious content of the piece outraged the Soviet authorities, as a result of which Pärt’s works were subsequently eliminated from the official concert repertoire and from the radio.

Chamber music - which of the four composers wrote this musical piece?

Listen to the short exceprt and recognise the composer.

The example comes from Louis Andriessen Zilver.

The example comes from Kazimierz Serocki Swinging Music.

The example comes from Arvo PärtEs sang vor langen Jahren.

The example comes from Pierre BoulezLe marteau sans maître.

Orchestral music - who composed this musical piece?

Listen to the short excerpt and  recognize the composer.

Instrumental color scheme also plays a major role in Pli selon pli composed by Pierre Boulez, but this piece sounds quite different from Serocki’s music. Boulez saw the precise pitch as equally important as harmony arrangements.

In Ad libitum the nature of the music resembles that of colour fantasia, like in many of Krzysztof Serocki’s works.

A vivid, though by no means simple rhythm, sound of the orchestra favouring the brass rather than the strings suggest Louis Andriessen – the example is taken from his Mysterien.

Consonant chords, melody and harmony bringing to mind Renaissance music in Arvo Pärt’s 3. Symphony are characteristics of many of his works.

The four composers and film. To whom do the various descriptions apply?

He showed no interest in art forms in which music would have been subordinated to other forms of expression.

Pierre Boulez’s music was not used in films as too complex, autonomous by nature and, consequently, not suited to illustrating anything.

He collaborated with film directors on projects in which he was the author of the overriding concept of the musical-cinematic works.

Louis Andriessen liked to work with well-known directors (Peter Greenaway, Quay Brothers), although he did not write music “for films”, but, rather, co-created works with them in accordance with his own concept.

In 1958–1967 he wrote music to documentaries. His later works are often used in films.

Arvo Pärt is one of those composers whose music is frequently used in films, choreographies, art and theatre projects, 

He wrote music for films, including feature films.

Kazimierz Serocki’s film music legacy is substantial: from sound illustrations to documentaries to feature-length productions like Aleksander Ford’s The Teutonic Knights and Jerzy Hoffman's The Deluge. 

The music of the four composers is usually heard in traditional concert halls, yet each of them felt the need to go beyond the typical limitations of such venues, and three of them wrote pieces intended to be performed in other, more appropriate spac

He was interested in the possibilities of creating new spaces for new music, but had no opportunity to try them.

Kazimierz Serocki saw the need to use new spaces for new music, but this was not reflected in his work. Apart from the suggestion that Arrangements can be performed simultaneously in different parts of the same building.


Louis Andriessen put his understanding of the political role of music into practice with e.g. the Volharding ensemble, with which he gave street performances.

Purpose-built auditoria for performances of new music

Pierre Boulez believed that new music required new spaces and to make his visions a reality he collaborated with well-known architects.

Vocal music - who composed this musical piece?

Listen to the short excerpt and  recognize the composer.

The example comes from Pierre BoulezPli selon pli.

The example comes from Louis Andriessen La passione.

The example comes from Arvo PärtKanon pokajanen.

The example comes from Kazimierz Serocki Poesies.

Well done!

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