History jokes, famous anecdotes and short funny stories.

Funny anecdotes and short stories are a great source of examples in public speeches. This website contains short funny stories, clean jokes and humorous legends of kings and queens, politicians, famous literary figures and artists from many books and sources. The styles of writers from different time periods was preserved - they often enhance the stories in an amusing way. Enjoy and have fun!

You're no Mozart 
Thursday, May 1, 2008, 01:00 AM - Jokes and anecdotes of famous people, Funny Music History
Posted by Queen of History Jokes
Mozart was once approached by a young man who was interested in Mozart's advice on how to compose a symphony. Since he was still very young, Mozart recommended that he start by composing ballads. Surprised, the young man responded, "But you wrote symphonies when you were only ten years old." "But I didn't have to ask how," countered Mozart.
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Richard Wagner and Dumas 
Friday, March 7, 2008, 05:55 PM - Jokes and anecdotes of famous people, Funny Music History
Posted by Court Jester
Of the score of greatest composers, perhaps none was
more eccentric than that founder of the modern German
operatic school, Richard Wagner. The caller who was
unaware of one of his peculiarities might suffer a mild
shock ; for on entering the room where his visitor was
seated Wagner would throw the door wide open before
him, as if it were fit that his approach should be heralded
like that of a king, and he would stand for a moment on
the threshold, a curious mediaeval figure in a frame.
The mystified visitor, rising from his seat, would behold
a man richly clad in a costume of velvet and satin,
like those of the early Tudor period, and wearing a bonnet
such as are seen in portraits of Henry VI, and his
three successors. Buffon used to put on lace ruffles and
cuffs when he wrote, and Wagner had his composing
costume that of a Meistersinger or rather several costumes,
for he would vary his attire not only according
to his own moods, but according to the faces of people
who came to see him.

Alexander Dumas, calling upon him made some goodhumored
remark about his own ignorance of music
which he had once defined as ' the most expensive of
noises '; but his pleasantries were listened to with such
a smileless stolidity that he went home in a huff, and
wrote his contemptuous protest against
'Wagnerian din inspired by the riot of
cats scampering in the dark about an ironmonger's shop.'

On the day before this protest was printed Wagner
returned Dumas' visit, and was kept waiting for half an
hour in an anteroom.
Then the author of the "Three Guardsmen " marched
in, superbly attired in a plumed helmet, a cork life belt
and a flowered dressing gown.
"Excuse me for appearing in my working dress," he said
majestically. "Half my ideas are lodged in this helmet and the
other half in a pair of jack-boots which I put on to compose love
cenes." Snubs of this sort of which Wagner encountered
many rankled deep in his mind and made him say that
the French were Vandals, whereas, in truth, their quarrel
was not so much with his music as with him personally
and with his uncivil followers.

From Anecdotes of great musicians; three hundred anecdotes and biographical sketches of famous composers and performers
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Irish composer's marriage 
Friday, March 7, 2008, 05:44 PM - British humor, history of England, Jokes and anecdotes of famous people, Funny Music History
Posted by Court Jester
The Irish composer, Field, married from a somewhat
peculiar reason, if we may believe his version of it.
While yet this originator of the style of music called the "
nocturne " was single, he numbered among his pupils
one attractive young lady from whom he found it exceedingly
difficult to collect the amount of her tuition
Finally, Field concluded to proceed to law in the matter,
that is, to use one form of law — for he proposed to
the slow-paying damsel and was accepted. He made
no secret of the fact that she was his pupil and he married
her to get rid of giving her lessons for which she
never paid, and for which he felt sure she never would.
This may be a good plan. Who can say but it is
applied more than the world knows. But what if the
teacher is already the happy possessor of one, or if he
has several debtors among the fair sex ?
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Mozart's memory 
Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 11:56 PM - Jokes and anecdotes of famous people, Funny Music History
Posted by Administrator
Part of the service used in the Pope's chapel at Rome
is sacredly guarded and kept with great care in the
archives of the chapel. Any singer found tampering
with this "Miserere" of Allegri, or giving a note of it to an
outsider, would be visited by excommunication. Only
three copies of this service have ever been sent out.
One was for the Emperor Leopold, another to the King
of Portugal, and the third to the celebrated musician,
Padre Martini.

But there was one copy that was made without the
Pope's orders, and not by a member of the choir either.
When Mozart was taken to Rome in his youth, by his
father, he went to the service at St. Peter's and heard
the service in all its impressiveness. Mozart, senior,
could hardly arouse the lad from his fascination with the
music, when the time came to leave the cathedral. That
night after they had retired and the father slept, the boy
stealthily arose and by the bright light of the Italian
moon, wrote out the whole of that sacredly guarded
"Miserere" The Pope's locks, bars, and excommunications
gave no safety against a memory like Mozart's.

From Anecdotes of Great Musicians by W. F. Gates
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Mozart Anecdotes: the composition of Requiem, and how Mozart died 
Monday, February 4, 2008, 09:19 AM - Jokes and anecdotes of famous people, Funny Music History
Posted by Administrator
The bodily frame of Mozart was tender and exquisitely sensible ; ill health soon overtook him, and brought with it a melancholy approaching to despondency. A very short time before his death, which took place when he was only thirty-six, he composed that celebrated requiem, which, by an extraordinary presentiment of his approaching dissolution, he considered as written for his own funeral.

One day, when he was plunged in a profound reverie, he heard a carriage stop at his door. A stranger was announced, who requested to speak with him. A person was introduced, handsomely dressed, of dignified and impressive manners. " I have been commissioned, sir, by a man of considerable importance, to call upon you."—" Who is he?" interrupted Mozart. " He does not wish to be known."—" Well, what does he want?" —" He has just lost a person whom he tenderly loved, and whose memory will be eternally dear to him. He is desirous of annually commemorating this mournful event by a solemn service, for which he requests you to compose a requiem."—Mozart was forcibly struck by this discourse, by the grave manner in which it was uttered, and by the air of mystery in which the whole was involved. He engaged to write the requiem. The stranger continued, " Employ all your genius on this work; it is destined for a connoisseur."—" So much the better."—" What time do you require ?"—" A month."—" Very well; in a month's time I shall return—what price do you set on your work ?"—" A hundred ducats." The stranger counted them on the table, and disappeared.

Mozart remained lost in thought for some time: he then suddenly called for pen, ink, and paper, and, in spite of his wife's entreaties, began to write. This rage for composition continued several days; he wrote day and night, with an ardour which seemed continually to increase; but his constitution, already in a state of great debility, was unable to support this enthusiasm; one morning he fell senseless, and was obliged to suspend his work. Two or three days after, when his wife sought to divert his mind from the gloomy presages which occupied it, he said to her abruptly, " It is certain that I ain writing this requiem for myself; it will serve for my funeral service." Nothing could remove this impression from his mind.

As he went on, he felt his strength diminish from day to day, and the score advancing slowly. The month which he had fixed being expired, the stranger again made his appearance. " I have found it impossible,' said Mozart, " to keep my word." " Do not give yourself any uneasiness," replied the stranger; " what further time do you require?"—" Another month; the work has interested me more than I expected, and I have extended it much beyond what I at first designed." —" In that case, it is but just to increase the premium; here are fifty ducats more."—"Sir," said Mozart, with increasing astonishment, "who then are you ?"—"That is nothing to the purpose; in a month's time I shall return."

Mozart immediately called one of his servants, and ordered him to follow this extraordinary personage, and find out who he was ; but the man failed from want of skill, and returned without being able to trace him.

Poor Mozart was then persuaded that he was no ordinary being ; that he had a connection with the other world, and was sent to announce to him his approaching end. He applied himself with the more ardour to his requiem, which he regarded as the most durable monument of his genius. While thus employed, he was seized with the most alarming fainting fits; but the work was at length completed before the expiration of the month. At the time appointed, the stranger returned, but Mozart was no more. His career was as brilliant as it was short. He died before he had completed his thirty-sixth year; but in this short space of time he had acquired a name which will never perish, so long as feeling hearts are to be found.

From The Flowers of Literature by William Oxberry
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