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Classical Music Trivia


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I asked this awhile back on Twitter, and nobody bit, so I'll give it a go here:

I know for a fact - from musical knowledge alone - that the year after Mozart died was a leap year. How do I know this?

Hint: This answer is no more impressive than being able to recite the states bordering the Mississippi River.

The winner gets an autographed picture of Jay Silverheels.

BTW (and this belongs in the Science Forum) - there's an easier way than piecing together the two nuggets of musical history I'm in possession of: Leap Years occur when, and only when:

  • The year can be evenly divided by 4;
  • If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
  • The year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.

The reason for the second two rules is because a leap year isn't exactly 4 years, just as Pi is not exactly 3.14, and it needs an adjustment every 133 years or so. I suspect there's also a fourth rule that makes an even less-frequent adjustment - perhaps something like "Every 25,000 years, ignore rule two" - this is basically a way to approximate an irrational number using rational numbers - like saying Pi is "equal" to 355/113:

Note that, unless you have *really* good genetics: For the rest of your life, every single year divisible by 4 will be a leap year.

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22 minutes ago, The Hersch said:

They may not participate in this forum, but some people now living (quite a lot, I'd guess) will be living when the non-leap year 2100 rolls around.

Yes, of course, but my last line was written specifically because all of our readers, for now, were either born last century, or are precocious teenage geniuses; if someone digs up this thread in twenty years, the last sentence will no longer apply.

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