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Humor Not Humor


11. A Terrible Orchestra
The name said what you would get. Some who joined especially stood out for their musical weakness.

10. The Really Terrible Orchestra
Half-way through the second part of the Scottish Suite, Dorothy Leeming (double bass) pipes up to ask if we're at the 4/4 bar yet. We're puzzled until we realise she's raced ahead to the third movement.

9. How to Cook a Conductor
Clean the Conductor as you would a squid. Be careful not to overcook, or your Conductor could end up tasting like stuffed ham.

8. Music Student Bloopers
In the last scene of Pagliacci, Canio stabs Nedda who is the one he really loves. Pretty soon Silvio also gets stabbed, and they all live happily ever after.

7. Musical Terms
Conductor: someone who espresses his illusions of grandeur by standing on a box and waving a little stick at people while they try to make music in spite of him.

6. A Player's Guide for Keeping Conductors in Line
Long after a passage is gone, ask the conductor if your C# was in tune. This is especially effective if you had no C#, or were not playnig at the time.

5. How to Sing the Blues
You have a right to sing the Blues if your first name is a southern state like Georgia, you're blind, you shot a man in Memphis, and you can't be satisfied.

4. Golden Rules for Ensemble Playing
Everyone should play the same piece. If you play a wrong note, give a nasty look to one of your partners.

3. Orchestral Efficiency
All 12 violins were playing identical notes. This seems an unnecessary duplication of work.

2. Page Turner's Program Notes
Tonight's page turner, Ruth Spelke, studied under Ivan Schmertnick at the Boris Nitsky School of Page Turning in Philadelphia.

1. Bangkok Piano Recital Review
Mr. Kropp slowly arose from his stool and left the stage. But he reappeared a moment later with a red-handled fire ax.

Not Humor

20. A Little Music With Exercise Boosts Brain Power
The combination of music and exercise may stimulate and increase cognitive arousal while helping to organize cognitive output.

19. Don't Embellish the National Anthem
During the past few years, it seems that everyone has tried to use the song as a grandstand for vocal gymnastics.

18. Wisdom for Young Conductors
Conducting can't be a simple matter of an individual asserting authority over an orchestra. People don't like being told what to do.

17. The Myth of the Maestro
Even the sternest critics can be seduced before the wild-eyed maestro's authority. You don't have to be a musician to wonder if such a nebulous yet omnipotent job description might be dangerous.

16. All In the Mind
To memorize, or not to memorize. That is the question.

15. Admit It, You're as Bored as I Am
Nothing thrills a classical music crowd more than a new piece of music that doesn't make them physically ill.

14. The Problem with Atonal Music
Is there a chef on the planet who suggests swallowing a tablespoon of salt for an appetizer and following it with a bowl of Tabasco for an entrée before washing it all down with a cup of vinegar?

13. The Inner Game of Music
It's about overcoming that distracting inner voice that tries to control and second-guess our actions as we make music.

12. Otto Klemperer - Behind Every Great Conductor
Gustav Mahler's daughter, Anna, once found herself chased by him around a dining table. "Dr Klemperer," she gasped, "in Bach's B-minor mass, rehearsal figure 48, is that top note F or F-sharp?"

11. Music and the Brain
Musicians respond to music differerently from non-musicians; they also exhibit hyper-development of certain areas in their brains.

10. Inauthentic Beethoven, but Authentically So
Conductors like Wagner, Strauss, Furtwängler, Szell and Bernstein, to name a few, have all contributed to the reorchestration of many works by old masters.

9. How Do Composers Live Their Lives?
It is hard to square Tchaikovsky's bold, lush music with the fact that he was so nervous when he conducted that he felt he had to hold his chin with one hand to stop his head from falling off.

8. Good Seats Still Available for 639-Year Avant-Garde Concert
The concert began Sept. 5, 2001. It started with a silence, and the only sound for a first 1-1/2 years was air. The first notes were played in February 2003. Two new notes rang out Monday.

7. An Organ Recital for the Very, Very Patient
You have about six more centuries to hear developments in the work being performed, by John Cage called "As Slow as Possible." There are eight movements. Each movement lasts roughly 71 years

6. Defending Classical Music
Classical music offers the intense emotional and intellectual engagement that pop culture reject. We are physical beings, but we exceed the physical in our capacity for thought, feeling and imagination which transcends our bodily existence.

5. The Day Music Went Mad
Of all the turning points in the history of music, one is instantly audible to the innocent ear. In that instant, the harmonic laws that governed European music for 500 years are declared null and void.

4. Is 12-Tone Music a Hoax?
Composer John Adams says, "Ever since I first encountered compositions by Arnold Schonberg I wondered what the hell anyone ever heard in it. Now I know."

3. Classical vs. Popular Music
If you've encountered a piece of classical music that you loved, then you know more than you think you do.

2. What Music Is All About
At Julliard, kids are hypercritical of each other and very competitive. The teachers expected technical perfection. But this wasn't about that.

1. Making Music With What You Have Left
He said, not boastfully, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone ...