King Gustav III of Sweden was warned of assassins at his masquerade ball. He went anyway.
The hymn Amazing Grace was set to its current tune more than fifty years after it was written. Because it was written in common metre, it can also be sung to Mack the Knife, Sympathy for the Devil, the Pokemon theme, and the Gilligan’s Island theme.
What does an American accent sound like to an Italian? The Italian song Prisencolinensinainciusol will show you.
Clicks are used in several languages of southern and eastern Africa, most famously in Xhosa. The sounds make Xhosa songs and tongue twisters sound amazing.
The Epic of Sundiata, describing the rise of the first ruler of the Mali Empire, was passed down by griots – West African bards – for over six hundred years before it was written down.
Mickey Mouse’s first words were spoken not by Walt Disney but by Carl Stalling, who went on to compose 22 years’ worth of soundtracks for Warner Bros’ Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons.
Hey, let’s turn a grand piano on its side and play it like a violin! Sure, why not?
Jacques Brel, the famed Belgian singer, began some songs slowly and then sped up. A lot.
The biblical phrase “peace on Earth, and goodwill to all men” is probably a mistake, a mistranslation because of a single missing letter.
At a dance party in 1972 Bronx New York, DJ Kool Herc mixed the breaks from James Brown, British rock music, and a bongo band – and in doing so, laid the foundations of hip hop.
Between 1941 and 1943 Germany broadcast propaganda jazz music with altered lyrics into Britain.
Okay, here’s a hybrid sport for you: combine volleyball, football, and gymnastics. And (why not) throw in a trampoline and make the referee double as the DJ.
Take Five is perhaps the most famous piece of music in 5/4 time. Tito Puente’s cover of the song is not in 5/4 time.
In 1956 Eddie Lawrence had a one-hit wonder, a song called The Old Philosopher that is perhaps the most pessimistic song to ever reach the American Billboard Top 40.
In 1971, Mongolia’s Minister of Culture decided that the country needed its own rock band, and so Soyol Erdene was born.