Giokki di viole (and a few others, too)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 00:30:37 PDT
Subject: Giokki di viole (and a few others, too)
So my pal David Yost sends me mail saying:
> I just spoke with my old friend Roman Markowicz.
> Q: What is the Range of a Viola?
> A: As far as you can kick it.
> Q: What is the definition of a cluster chord?
> A: A viola section playing on the open C string. (DY)
> Q: What is the definition of a quarter tone?
> A: Two violas playing in unison.
> Once upon a time, there was a performance of The
> Marriage of Figaro. Part way through the performance
> the conductor fell ill and had to be replaced. The
> manager failed to find a conductor on such short notice
> and started asking around in the pit, the violins, the
> cellos, etc. A violist strained to hold up his hand,
> squealing, "Me! Me!" As he was the only volunteer, he
> was given the job.
> The remainder of the performance went quite well,
> actually; the audience was pleased, and even his fellow
> orchestra members and the singers were quite impressed.
> The manager asked him if he could possibly conduct the
> remaining few performances, and he gladly accepted.
> When it was all over, as the violist was to returning
> to his chair in the viola section, his stand partner
> said to him, "So where the hell have you been for the
> last couple of weeks?"
Knowing he can do better, I send him back a bit of mail:
> Oh yeah? Well, how about ...
> Q: What do they mean by "perfect pitch"?
> A: That's when you can toss the viola into the water without hitting the
> toilet seat.
> Q: What's the difference between a coffin and a cello?
> A: With a coffin the dead person is on the inside.
> Q: How do you know when an operatic tenor is at your front door?
> A: He can't find the key and doesn't know when to come in.
> Q: What's the difference between a double bass and a VW bug?
> A: People sometimes tune the bug.
> Q: What is the difference between a dead skunk in the road and a dead
> conductor in the road?
> A: The skunk was on its way to a gig.
To which he replied:
OH YEAH? What about...
> Q: Why do violists leave their violas on the dashboard of their cars?
> A: So they can park in handicapped zones.
> Q: What do a viola solo and peeing in your pants have in common?
> A: Both are embarrassing and neither can be heard.
> Q: What's the difference between peeing in your pants and a viola solo?
> A: You don't get that warm feeling after a viola solo.
> Q: Why are orchestra intermissions only twenty minutes long?
> A: So the violists don't need to be retrained.
> Q: What do a SCUD missile and a viola player have in common?
> A: They're both offensive and inaccurate.
> Q: What's the range of a viola?
> A: About twenty yards, if you've got a good arm.
> Q: Why are violas so large?
> A: It's an optical illusion. It's not that the violas are large;
> just that the viola players' heads are so small.
> Q: What's the difference between a viola and a vacuum cleaner?
> A: You have to plug in a vacuum cleaner before it sucks.
> Q: What's the difference between a chain saw and a viola?
> A: If you absolutely had to, you could use a chain saw
> in a string quartet.
> Q: What's the difference between a viola and a shaggy dog?
> A: A shaggy dog knows when to stop scratching.
> Q: We all know that a viola is better than a violin
> because it burns longer. But why does it burn longer?
> A: It's usually still in the case.
> Q: Why do violists get antsy when they see the Kama Sutra?
> A: All those positions! (DY)
So, having gotten the pianist's side of the story, we turn to a favorite
excerpt from the memoirs of William Primrose (Scottish violist and
international celebrity, 1904-82):
During the lengthy intermissions we often passed
the time with the string section conversing and
being witty. I had just asked if I might tell a
joke about pianists, when a person I had not met
before said "now wait a minute, I am a piano
player." To which I replied "no matter, I can
tell it slowly."
Yes, of course I'm lying. Perhaps it's these P.G. Wodehouse stories that the
local PBS station has been broadcasting...
© 1993 Peter Langston