1. Everyone should play the same piece.
2. Stop at every repeat sign, and discuss in detail whether to
take the repeat. The audience will love this a lot!
3. If you play a wrong note, give a nasty look to one of your
4. Keep your fingering chart handy. You can always catch up
with the others.
5. Carefully tune your instrument before playing. That way
you can play out of tune all night with a clear conscience.
6. Take your time turning pages.
7. The right note at the wrong time is a wrong note (and vice
8. If everyone gets lost except you, follow those who get lost.
9. Strive to get the maximum NPS (notes per second). That
way you gain the admiration of the incompetent.
10. Markings for slurs, dynamics and ornaments should not
be observed. They are only there to embellish the score.
11. If a passage is difficult, slow down. If it's easy, speed it
up. Everything will work itself out in the end.
12. If you are completely lost, stop everyone and say,
"I think we should tune."
13. Happy are those who have not perfect pitch, for the
kingdom of music is theirs.
14. If the ensemble has to stop because of you, explain in
detail why you got lost. Everyone will be very interested.
15. A true interpretation is realized when there remains not
one note of the original.
16. When everyone else has finished playing, you should
not play any notes you have left. If you have notes left
over, please play them on the way home.
17. A wrong note played timidly is a wrong note. A wrong
note played with authority is an interpretation.
This was sent to me and we do not know the author. If you do know the author I will post their name. Please, young students who might be reading this = these Golden Rules For Ensemble Playing are a joke.
As a result of Mr. Hunt's recent article titled "Please Turn Down
the Orchestra," a survey of orchestral players was undertaken. The
object was to determine whether or not, in the opinion of the players,
orchestras have become too loud.
This question was asked: "Do you, as a professional orchestral musician
think that orchestras have become too loud, and if so, how has this
affected you personally?" Following , in score order, are some typical
1. Flutist: "Yes, most decidedly. In fact the situation has deteriorated
the point that I am actually looking forward to being demoted to 3rd flute
and piccolo where I will be able to make myself heard, at least on the
2. Oboist: "I think so. I have trouble keeping up as far as volume
is concerned. I have finally resorted to two pieces of cedar shakes tied
together to make a reed and the conductor still keeps asking for more."
3. Clarinetist: "Perhaps. The conductor has asked me to stand up on
all solos so that the audience will notice me. I am also using one of
those new titanium reeds. The tone is a bit metallic, but it does cut
mass of string sound. I suppose the strings could play softer. I don't
they have never been asked to."
4. Bassoonist: "I really don't know. I didn't show up for the last
three concerts and nobody seemed to notice."
5. Hornist: "If he wants it louder, he should hire more horn players!"
6. Trumpet player: "I think we should play louder, faster, and put
it up an octave."
7. Trombonist: "I really don't care. Just wake me up when we get to
the last movement. By the way, where is the party after the concert?"
8. Tuba player: "I've never thought about it. What I want to know is
why I'm not allowed to wear my lederhosen at concerts. After all, I am
principal of the section!"
9. Percussionist: "What?"
10. First violinist. "No, I don't think so. When the brass come in we
have to worry about intonation in the fiddle section. I don't know what's
going on in the seconds. There are times when I can't hear them at all."
11. Second violinist: "Perhaps Things have become a bit more
complicated. I now use two bows, one for the soft spots and another for
when the brass come in. I use soap on that one instead of rosin."
12. Violist: "Duh?"
13. Cellist: "Well I guess so. At least we have had to play louder
since the bassoons stopped showing up."
14. Double bassist: "I don't know about the rest of the orchestra but all
we can hear back here is that damn tuba. We all chipped in and bought
that big guy a tuba with the bell aimed the other direction, but he won't
use it. If we allowed him to wear his lederhosen would he play softer?"