Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

No joke, that’s the full name of the orchestra I went to see this Monday; the only real professional orchestra that I know of in Saigon.

They played a really cool repertoire; consisting of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Violin Concerto in D Major; Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on the theme of Paganini; and Mussorgsky’s Dawn on the Moscow River. I’m not going to lie, I went there specifically to see the performance of the 1812 Overture and the Rhapsody on the theme of Paganini. The other two pieces were ones that I didn’t know quite so well.

I was very confused at their choice of the order of the pieces. They opened with Tchaikovsky’s 1812, and ended the first half with the Rachmaninov. The second half opened with Mussorgsky’s Dawn on the Moscow River. The concert ended with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. I really don’t understand this. In their Spring Summer programme leaflet, they stated the order to start with the Mussorgsky, followed by the Violin Concerto. The second half opened with Rachmaninov, and then the whole concert was to close with the 1812. To me, this would have made much more sense. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is a fantastic, dramatic, powerful piece: perfectly suited to the grand finale. Why they chose to open with this is simply beyond me. Continue reading

Music Jokes: Viola

You didn’t think I was going to finish this series without viola jokes did you!

No. In fact, I’ve got a particularly long one this time.
It’s in two sections, the short jokes, and then (after the break), some longer jokes. I personally think the longer jokes are actually better, although the viola jokes are particularly good when compared to other instruments.
How is lightning like a violist’s fingers?
Neither one strikes in the same place twice.
How do you get a violist to play a passage pianissimo tremolando?
Mark it “solo.”
What’s the difference between a viola and an onion?
No one cries when you cut up a viola.
What’s the definition of a minor second?
Two violists playing in unison.
Why do violists stand for long periods outside people’s houses?
They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.
How can you tell when a violist is playing out of tune?
The bow is moving.
How was the canon invented?
Two violists were trying to play the same passage together.
Why is a viola solo like a bomb?
By the time you hear it, it’s too late to do anything about it.
Why is a viola solo like premature ejaculation?
Because even when you know it’s coming, there’s nothing you can do about it.
What do a SCUD missile and a viola player have in common?
They’re both offensive and inaccurate.
What is the definition of a cluster chord?
A viola section playing on the C string.
Why do violists get antsy when they see the Kama Sutra?
All those positions!
If you’re lost in the desert, what do you aim for? A good viola player, a bad viola player or an oasis?
The bad viola player. The other two are only figments of your imagination.
Why do people tremble with fear when someone comes into a bank carrying a violin case?
They think he’s carrying a machine gun and might be about to use it.
Why do people tremble with fear when someone comes into a bank carrying a viola case?
They think he’s carrying a viola and might be about to use it.
Why can’t you hear a viola on a digital recording?
Recording technology has reached such an advanced level of development that all extraneous noise is eliminated.
What instrument do violists envy most?
The harp. You only ever have to play pizzicato on open strings.
What is the similarity between a violist and a prostitute?
Both are paid to fake climaxes.
How does a violist’s brain cell die?
Alone.
How do you call a violist with two brain cells?
Pregnant.
What’s the similarity between the Beatles and the viola section of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?
Neither has played together since 1970.
What is the longest viola joke?
Harold in Italy [a piece of music featuring a long viola solo]
How do you transcribe a violin piece for viola?
Divide the metronome marking by 2.
What’s the difference between the first and last desk of a viola section?
  1. half a measure
  2. a semi-tone

What is the difference between a violist and a prostitute?
  1. A prostitute knows more than two positions.
  2. Prostitutes have a better sense of rhythm.

How do you get a dozen violists to play in tune?
  1. Shoot 11 of them.
  2. Shoot all of them.
  3. Who the hell wants a dozen violists?

Cross the break to get the longer jokes. Continue reading

Music Jokes: Guitars & Modern Music

For the final section in this series of jokes about music and musical instruments, I’m moving on to more modern styles of music.
Before we start on this, I’m just going to give you a run down of what we’ve done so far:
General Music Jokes
Conductors
Strings
Woodwind & Brass
Percussion
Vocalists

And now on to the final post of the series on musical jokes.

 

How do you get a guitar player to play softer?
Give him some sheet music.
What do you call two guitarists playing in unison?
Counterpoint.
What happens if you play blues music backwards?
Your wife returns to you, your dog comes back to life, and you get out of prison.
What do you get when you play New Age music backwards?
New Age music.
What’s the difference between a puppy and a singer-songwriter?
Eventually the puppy stops whining.
How many punk-rock musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
Two: One to screw in the bulb and the other to smash the old one on his forehead.
Know how to make a million dollars singing jazz?
Start with two million.
How many jazz musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Jazz musicians can’t afford light bulbs.
I found all of these jokes on the website http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/jokes/
Visit it if you want to see even more musical jokes. I just thought these were the best.
As always, please leave comments, what were your favourite jokes, what didn’t you like? Do you know any others?
Thanks for sticking through all these, and if you haven’t, then I recommend you do. Musical jokes in general are really funny (although some of them require a level of musical knowledge), and I’ve picked only the best of the best.
If you liked these, then please subscribe by RSS, or by email so you can keep up to date with all of my posts.

Music Jokes: Vocalists

We’re starting this series of musical jokes back up with vocalists. This includes jokes that relate to professionals, and some jokes that are specific to amateur singers. I think that these are actually really good.
You can see the previous post, on percussion, here.

What’s the difference between a soprano and a terrorist?
You can negotiate with a terrorist.
What’s the first thing a soprano does in the morning?
Puts on her clothes and goes home.
What’s the next thing a soprano does in the morning?
Looks for her instrument.
What’s the difference between a soprano and a Porsche?
Most musicians have never been in a Porsche.
What’s the definition of an alto?
A soprano who can sightread.
How many altos does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
None. They can’t get that high.
How do you tell if a tenor is dead?
The wine bottle is still full and the comics haven’t been touched.
What’s the definition of a male quartet?
Three men and a tenor.
How do you tell if a bass is actually dead?
Hold out a check (but don’t be fooled: a slight, residual spasmodic clutching action may occur even hours after death has occurred).
What is the difference between the men’s final at Wimbledon and a high school choral performance?
The tennis final has more men.
How does a young man become a member of a high school chorus?
On the first day of school he turns into the wrong classroom.
I found all of these jokes on the website http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/jokes/
Visit it if you want to see even more musical jokes. I just thought these were the best.
As always, please leave comments, what were your favourite jokes, what didn’t you like? Do you know any others?
Come back in three days for the conclusion to my series of musical jokes.

Music Jokes: Percussion

Now we’re onto the bangers of the orchestra. These guys don’t have many jokes either, although the ones there are are quite good.
You can see the previous section, on Woodwind & Brass, here.
What are we at now? Part 5 of the musical jokes series?

 

Why are orchestra intermissions limited to 20 minutes?
So you don’t have to retrain the drummers.
What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians?
A drummer.
What did the drummer get on his IQ test?
Drool.
How do you know when a drummer is knocking at your door?
The knock always slows down.
How do you get a drummer to play an accelerando?
Ask him to play in 4/4 at a steady 120 bpm.

 

I found all of these jokes on the website http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/jokes/
Visit it if you want to see even more musical jokes. I just thought these were the best.
As always, please leave comments, what were your favourite jokes, what didn’t you like? Do you know any others?
I’m going to give it a rest for a little while now, come back on the 17th for the next section.

Music Jokes: Woodwind & Brass

Here’s where my own instrument comes into play in this series of jokes about musical instruments.
Have a look at the section on Strings here.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find very many clarinet jokes, but there was one in particular that I loved.

 

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get away from the bassoon recital.
How many clarinetists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only one, but he’ll go through a whole box of bulbs before he finds just the right one. [I love this one, as a clarinetist I know it’s SO true]
What’s the definition of “nerd?”
Someone who owns his own alto clarinet.
How do you know a clarinet player is playing loud?
You can almost hear them.
How many trumpet players does it take to change a lightbulb?
Five. One to handle the bulb and four to tell him how much better they could have done it.
What’s the difference between trumpet players and government bonds?
Government bonds eventually mature and earn money.
Why can’t a gorilla play trumpet?
He’s too sensitive.
How can you make a french horn sound like a trombone?
Take your hand out of the bell and lose all sense of taste.
What is a gentleman?
Somebody who knows how to play the trombone, but doesn’t.
What is the dynamic range of the bass trombone?
On or off.
These two tuba players walk past a bar…
Well, it could happen! [emphasis mine

I found all of these jokes on the website http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/jokes/
Visit it if you want to see even more musical jokes. I just thought these were the best.
Please leave comments, and come back in three days for the next post.