10 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries In Music

9. Where Is The Missing Sibelius Symphony?

jean sibelius

Unless you're a bit of a classical music aficionado, you may not know who Jean Sibelius is, but rest assured he remains one of the world's most famous composers. Born in Finland, he's considered to be the country's greatest composer and is praised for helping the country develop a strong national identity.

Until Finland adopted the euro as currency his portrait was featured on the one-hundred mark note. Sibelius was born in 1865 and composed prolifically until the mid-1920s, when he stopped publishing and performing his work. This sudden decline was so stunning that it actually merited a title, The Silence Of Jarvenpaa, a reference to the location of his home. Yet during this time Sibelius was writing. Specifically he was working on an eighth symphony, a piece he worked on for over a decade.

When Sibelius died in 1957, it was asserted that he had destroyed this symphony, stunning critics and scholars around the world. Yet in the 1990s, scholars who were cataloguing the composer's notebooks and sketches began to realise they had found fragments of the piece, and that it likely wasn't completely destroyed, but exists through various other records. The belief is that it should be possible to reconstruct the entire work if further fragments can be identified, but where those fragments might be located, nobody really knows.

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