In the latest issues of mental_floss (pick it up here, if you haven't already!), we asked arts expert Elizabeth Lunday to cover Stravinsky's work The Rite of Spring. Here's some of the intro:
"On the night of May 29, 1913, an elegant crowd in Paris eagerly anticipated Igor Stravinsky's latest ballet, "The Rite of Spring." The piece opened with a quiet, eerie melody on the clarinet. Three minutes later, the violins attacked. With bows brutally pounding against the strings, the musicians' hammering was so dissonant that the spectators winced. As the orchestra continued, the audience hissed and booed. They rose to their feet and shouted. Some defended the music, but most denounced it. Then the violence started. They began by whacking each other with canes and umbrellas, and before long they were throwing bare fists like drunkards in a Western saloon. Stravinsky's musical revolution had arrived. "
Want to see/hear the classical piece that caused a riot? Here's a recreation of the original from the Joffrey Ballet.