Q - How do you tell you're kissing a french horn player?

A - He/She keeps trying to stick their fist up your ass.


Q - What's a tuba for?

A - 1 1/2 X 3 1/2.



Jacques Thibault, the violinist, was once handed an autograph book by a fan while in the greenroom after a concert. "There's not much room on this page," he said, "What shall I write?"

Another violinist, standing by, offered the following helpful hint: "Write your repertoire."

Two violinists make a pact that whoever dies first, he will contact the other and tell him what life in Heaven is like. Poor Max has a heart attack and dies. He manages to make contact with Abe the next day.

Abe - I can't believe this worked! So what is it like in Heaven?

Max - Well, it's great, but I've got good news, and I've got bad news... The good news is that there's a fantastic orchestra up here, and in fact, we're playing "Sheherezade," your favorite piece, tomorrow night!

Abe - So what's the bad news?

Max - Well, you're booked to play the solo!

A violin player has given a good recital, and afterwards a lady comes up to him and says, "Maestro, that was beautiful, and how good: all those fast notes!" to which the violinist replies, "Ah but dear lady, those were only sixteenth notes, sometimes I play thirty-seconds!" The lady is completely awestruck: "Oh, could you play one for me?"

"Haven't I seen your face before?" a judge demanded, looking down at the defendant.

"You have, Your Honor," the man answered hopefully. "I gave your son violin lessons last winter."

"Ah, yes," recalled the judge. "Twenty years!"


A violist is sitting in the front row, crying hysterically. The conductor askes the violist, "What's wrong?" The violist answers, "The second oboe loosened one of my tuning pegs." The conductor replied, "I admit, that seems a little childish, but nothing to get so upset about. Why are you crying?" To which the violist replied, "He won't tell me which one!!"

A man (call him Horace) went on a safari in darkest Africa with a bunch of other people and some native guides. They traveled on foot, going deep into the jungle where they could hear the screeching of birds and howling of wild cats and other fierce wild animals. After a few days of travel, Horace came to notice that there was a constant drumming noise in the background. He asked the leader of the guides what the drumming was. He got no answer, just a stony silence. The drumming continued all day and all night for the next several days. In fact, as they traveled deeper into the jungle the drumming got even louder. Horace tried again to find out what the drumming meant by asking the other native guides, but he still got no answer. Finally one morning, after days of marching to this drumming (which by now was sounding quite ominous), the drums suddenly stopped. The native guides screamed and ran into the jungle to hide in the undergrowth. The leader remained behind with his charges, but he was trembling with fear. Horace asked "What is wrong? Why have the drums stopped?" The native guide replied, "Very bad." "What?" asked Horace, who was expecting the worst. The guide answered, "When drum stops, very bad - next comes viola solo!"

Q - What is the similarity between a viola joke and premature ejaculation?

A - You know it's coming and there is not a damn thing that you can do to stop it.

Q - What do you call a person who plays the viola?

A - A violator.

Conductor: Again from measure 5, if you please.

Voice from viola section: But Maestro, we have no measure numbers.

And here's a sort of odd quiz for prospective violists: YOU TOO CAN BE A VIOLA PLAYER WITH THE BBC SYMPATHY ORCHESTRA

Look what we have found. While sifting through the BBC's dustbins the other day we came across this. The pass mark is 10% but be careful, over 45% and you are overqualified. The marks for each question are shown on the right.


  1. Who wrote the following:-
    • a) Beethoven's 6th Symphony
    • b) Faure Requiem
    • c) Wagner's Ring Cycle [15]
  2. Tchaikovsky wrote 6 symphonies including Symphony no. 4. Name the other five. [5]
  3. Explain 'Counterpoint' or write your name on the reverse of the paper. [10]
  4. Which of the following would *you* tuck under you chin?
    • a) a timpani
    • b)an organ
    • c)a cello
    • d)a viola [1]
  5. Can you explain `Sonata Form'? Answer yes or no. [5]
  6. Which of the following literary works was made the subject of a Verdi opera?
    • a) First among Equals -- Jeffrey Archer
    • b) Macbeth -- William Shakespeare
    • c) Noddy and Big Ears -- Enid Blyton [5]
  7. Domenico Scarlatti wrote 555 harpsichord sonatas for which instrument? [5]
  8. Arrange the following movements in order of speed, starting with the slowest first.
    • a) Quickly
    • b) Slowly
    • c) Very Quickly
    • d) At a Moderate Pace. [4]
  9. Where would you normally expect to find the conductor during a performance? [5]
  10. Which of the following wrote incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream?
    • a) Des O'Connor
    • b) Mickey Mouse
    • c) Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
    • d) Terry Wogan [5]
  11. Which of the following is the odd one out?
    • a) Sir Colin Davis
    • b) Andrew Davis
    • c) Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
    • d) Desmond Lynham [5]
  12. Arrange the following words into a well known Puccini opera.
    • Boheme, La [5]
  13. Within five minutes, how long is Chopin's Minute Waltz? [5]
  14. From which of the following countries did Richard Strauss come?
    • a) Venezuela
    • b) Sri Lanka
    • c) Germany
    • d) Japan [5]
  15. For what town were Haydn's 'Paris' symphonies written? [5]
  16. Which is the odd one out?
    • a) Fantasy Overture 'Romeo and Juliet' -- Tchaikovsky
    • b) 'Romeo and Juliet' -- Berlioz
    • c) 'Romeo and Juliet' Ballet -- Prokofiev
    • d) 'Ten Green Bottles' -- anon. [5]
    LI>From which song do the following lines come?
    • 'God save our gracious Queen, Long live our Noble Queen.' [5]
  17. Spell the following musical terms: allegro, rallentando, crotchet, pizzicato, intermezzo [5]
  18. Tosca is a character found in which Puccini opera? [5]
  19. Arrange the following letters to form the name of a well known British broadcasting corporation: C, B, B. [5]


An old (and sexist) one:

A young woman is taking cello lessons. She's not all that good, and during a particularly lamentable practice session her teacher can't stand it any more and says:

"Lady, you've got between your legs an instrument that, if adequately caressed, could give boundless pleasure to you and thousands of other people; and the only thing you seem to be able to do is to scratch and scratch it!"


Fred and George, two bass players, get a night off and decide to go hear another orchestra play Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Unfortunately, the bass section of that orchestra has been out partying, and they are very drunk. In the 1st movement, one of them falls over in an alcoholic stupor. In the 2nd movement, one passes out, and in the 3rd movement, another bites the dust. At then beginning of the last movement, just before the famous bass recitative, Fred has had enough and says: "This is ridiculous, I'm going home!" . . . and George says, "Are you kidding? We can't leave now! It's the last of the 9th, the basses are loaded and there are three men down!"


"Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding, he sings."

There was a young fellow named Locke

Who was born with a two-headed cock.

When he'd fondle the thing,

It would rise up and sing

An antiphonal chorus by Bach.

>From an edition of the Brisbane Sunday Mail (with apologies to the original source not duly acknowledged) -


We are indebted to a London paper for its excellent newspaper heading-type summaries of various operas -

(Reproduced without permission)

Did you hear about the female opera singer who had quite a range at the lower end of the scale. She was known as the deep C diva.

When a young hot-shot conductor was making his debut at the Met, he showed the jaded and skeptical orchestra how well he knew the music by singing all parts of the Lucia sextet during rehearsal. Afterwards, one musician was overheard whispering to the other, impressed, "Well, this kid really knows his stuff!" The other replied, "*I* don't think he is so hot --- did you notice how flat his high E was at the end?"


Q - What's the difference between a soprano and a Porsche?

A - Most musicians have never been inside a Porsche.


Q - What's a countertenor's favorite computer operating system?



Once upon a time, there was a rather famous flute & harp duo named Cisco & Pancho. They had gotten together when they were grad students at Juilliard, and had made quite a name for themselves on the American concert circuit. Soon, they had opportunities to travel abroad. They performed throughout Europe, and were a great success there. They followed this with a tour of the Far East. While they were in Hong Kong, they stayed in a luxurious hotel across the bay from the hall where they were playing. Being rather weary from all their travelling, they decided to take a short nap at the hotel before their performance. They unfortunately had forgotten to set their alarm clock, and when they woke up, they discovered that they only had an hour to get cleaned up, dressed, and over to the concert hall. They scrambled to get ready, got their stuff together, and went down to the hotel lobby to try to get a cab. But traffic at that time of day was very bad, and besides, none of the hotel's limos were available at the time. The desk clerk suggested that they could get to the hall by sampan, since they were located on the bay. So Cisco & Pancho grabbed their music and their instruments, and booked a ride with a local sampan owner. When they got to the other side, they rushed out of the boat and into the hall. Cisco got his flute out and began to warm up. But Pancho realized that his instrument was missing, and began to get very worried. When his partner asked him what was wrong, Pancho replied: "I left my harp in sampan, Cisco."


The late Sir Thomas Beecham used to say the sound of the harpsichord is like "two skeletons making love on a tin roof". . . thus demonstrating (as he did so often) his consummate skill at substituting wit for understanding.


A note left for a pianist from his wife: Gone Chopin, (have Liszt), Bach in a Minuet.


Semiconductors are part-time musicians.

The late Herbert von Karajan and his wife enter a hotel room:

She - My god, it is cold in here.

HvK - But, liebchen, when we are in private, you can call me Herbert.

A bishop, a judge, and a conductor were discussing their careers, and got into an argument about which of them was the greatest.

The judge said, "When I step into the courtroom, everyone stands to pay me respect."

The bishop said, "They stand? I have people kneel before me and kiss my ring."

To which the conductor replied, "Ha! I got you both beat. When I step on the podium people look down, cover their eyes, and say 'Oh my God!'"

Q - What do a conductor and a condom have in common?

A - It's safer with one, but more beautiful without.

A musician calls the orchestra office, asks for the conductor, and is told that he is dead. The musician calls back 25 times more. Same message from receptionist. She asks why he keeps calling. He replies, "I just like to hear you say it."


Q - Why don't they know where Mozart is buried?

A - Because he's Haydn.

Q - What do you get if Bach dies and is reincarnated as twins?

A - A pair of Re-Bachs.

Q - What do you get if Bach falls off a horse but has the courage to get on again and continue riding?

A - Bach in the saddle again.

"This phone is baroque; please call Bach later."

At one of the first rehearsals of Electra, it is rumored that during the soprano's aria, Richard Strauss' conducting became wilder with each passing measure. Finally, upon reaching such a frenzied state that he couldn't possibly conduct any faster, Strauss cried out, "Louder; I can still hear her!"

Fritz Kriesler and Rachmaninov had a recital in Carnegie Hall once. In the middle of the music, Kriesler got lost and turned around to ask Rachmaninov, "Where are we?" Rachmaninov said, "Carnegie Hall, sir!"

Q - Why did Bach have so many children?

A - He did not have a stop on his organ.

***********MISCELLANEOUS (CLASSICAL)***********

Outrageous musical arrangements:

  1. Concerto for Typewriter and Orchestra in C# minor. (The following is an excerpt from the 3rd movement Cadenza:

    " k i wdehfq eweme f2e34f[0 932ru 2l/m,3mr

    f`2o3ru8`293dn d

    2efo k jed1eflyrther

    h2e33 f r ey

    9234`j323e923845`2332 9

    13er13 w 2qergqergerggrt

    er q wwkdjfwediueoijeo e e e


    ~#^~^%&)((~*^(&%#*# @~&*!*!@#

    ~@#&%#~*&#^~)((!)_()*#)_(&3````````` "

  2. Sonata for Cymbals and Lute in B-flat major. (I think the melodic line should be assigned to the cymbals.)
  3. "Total Entropy" - a tone poem for 85 bagpipes and solo cello.
  4. Modern quintet in D-flat minor for Air-conditioner, Trumpet, Quasinart, viola and hairdrier.
  5. "Schumschimeinwumderzendlieder - a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and tenor accompanied by 12 idling tractor engines gently revved from time to time.
  6. "Hallelujah" - a rearrangement of George Ferederick Handel's work for reed instruments alone - to be performed by 10,000 mouth-organs at Piccadily Circus, London on Christmas Eve.

These are stories and test questions accumulated by music teachers in the state of Missouri:

Source: Missouri School Music Newsletter, collected by Harold Dunn.




Bob is throwing a party. Bob decides that to break the ice at his party, he'll ask everyone what their IQ is, and then strike up an appropriate conversation from there. The day of Bobs party rolls around and when the first guest knocks on the door, Bob asks the person what their IQ is.

"200,000," replies the first guest.

"Well, that's great," says Bob, "Let's talk about ethereal astro physics." Bob and this first guest talk about the aforementioned subject for awhile. Later in the party someone else is at the door.

"Hi my name is Bob. Welcome to my party, what's your IQ?"

The new guest responds with 250.

"Great," says Bob, "Let's talk about advanced math." Bob and his new guest talk about calculus and statistics for awhile. Much later in the party after many more guests had been arived and spoken to by Bob, yet another guest arrives at the door.

"Hi, my name's Bob. Welcome to my party, what's your IQ?"

This time the guest replies after putting some thought into it: 5.

"Well that's great," says Bob, "What kind of drumsticks do you use?"

Q - Why do drummers have a half ounce more brains than horses?

A - So they don't disgrace themselves at the parade.


Q - What's the difference between a saxophone and a husband?

A - A saxophone makes sound when you blow it.

***********MISCELLANEOUS (JAZZ AND POP)***********

Madonna is to music as Wonder is to bread: light, fluffy, filled with air and totally tasteless.

Tom Fogerty has died. He wakes up and finds himself on a stage on which a number of instruments are set up. A door offstage opens and in walk Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, John Lennon, Otis Redding, and Buddy Holly. Each musician picks up his favorite instrument and begins tuning up. All of the instruments are taken but, to Tom's immense pleasure, the drums. He walks up to Jimi and says, "Man, so this is what heaven is like." Jimi looks at him and says, "Heaven? You think this is heaven?" At that moment, Karen Carpenter walks in, takes her seat behind the drums, and calls out, "Okay guys, 'Close to You'. One, two, three, four..."



Why do bluegrass banjo pickers always die with their boots on? So they won't stub their toes when they kick the bucket.

How do you keep a banjo player in suspense?...

"Doctor, doctor will I be able to play the banjo after the operation?"

"Yes, of course..."

"Great! I never could before..."

An old man was on his death bed and called his whole family together so that he could bid them farewell and make his peace with the world. After he said what he wanted to each in turn and he knew he was coming very close to death he called for all to gather together.

"I have one thing I would like to confess before I go," he said. They all drew closer. "It was me," cough, wheeze, "I was the one," he said as they leaned down as close as they could to hear what he could barely get out in a whisper. Gasp, cough, "I was the one," cough, wheeze, "in the kitchen with Dinah..."

At a convention of biological scientists one researcher remarks to another, "Did you know that in our lab we have switched from mice to banjo players for our experiments?"

"Really?" the other replied, "Why did you switch?"

"Well, for three reasons. First we found that banjo players are far more plentiful, second, the lab assistants don't get so attached to them, and thirdly there are some things even a rat won't do. However, sometimes it is very hard to extrapolate our test results to human beings."

"Banjos are to music as Spam is to food..."


Proposed Country-Western song titles: