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Do you have a good musician joke you'd like to share? Click to post your joke directly to our column below. reserves the right to remove any joke which it deems offensive and/or not in the spirit of this forum.

"Long-term results of organist shortage"

If the trend of the shortage of persons to play the organ continues at its present level, or worsens, many chapters of the American Guild of Organists will have to shut down or merge with neighboring chapters. This has already happened in some places. The time may come, when the American Guild of Organists will have to merge with the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Canada. The trend may continue to Mexico, to all of Europe, and then to the entire world. This new guild will simply become the Organists' Guild.
Also, since churches are trying to save money, more and more of them will be combining the positions of Organist and Choir Director. Soon, the guilds of choral conductors will cease to exist, and will simply merge with the world-wide organists' guild. One can imagine one new guild which will come into existence: instead of the American Guild of Organists, (AGO) we will simply have one Super-Guild: the Guild of Organists and Directors, (with its acronym...)

Submitted by Joan H.

"The Mozart Effect"

A recent report now says that the Mozart effect is yet another charming urban legend. The bad news for hip urban professionals: playing Mozart for your designer baby will not improve his IQ or help him get into that exclusive pre-school. He will just have to get admitted to Harvard some other way.

Of course, we're all better off listening to Mozart purely for the pleasure of it. However, one must wonder whether, if playing Mozart sonatas for little Tiffany or Jason really could boost his or her intelligence, what would happen if other composers were played during the kiddies' developmental time?

Child speaks rapidly and extravagantly, but never really says anything important.

Child speaks v-e-r-y slowly and repeats himself frequently and at length. Gains reputation for profundity.

Child becomes a egocentric megalomaniac. May eventually marry his sister.

Child is prone to murderous fits of jealousy if another child plays with his/her toys. Child also suffers never-ending bout of croup and insists it's nothing.

Child marches around his room repeatedly, lines up all of his stuffed animals in a parade, pays particular homage to his stuffed elephants.

Child continually screams--at great length and volume--that he's dying.

Child never repeats a word until he's used all the other words in his vocabulary. Sometimes talks backwards. Eventually, people stop listening to him. Child blames them for their inability to understand him.

The child develops a remarkable ability to carry on several separate conversations at once, in various dialects.

The child tends to repeat himself over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

The child is prone to savage, guttural and profane outbursts that often lead to fighting and pandemonium in the preschool.

The child is able to speak beautifully as long as his sentences contain a multiple of three words (3, 6, 9, 12, etc). However, his sentences containing 4 or 8 words are strangely uninspired.

Child says nothing for 4 minutes, 33 seconds--exactly.
A recent study has determined that the CAGE EFFECT is preferred by 10 out of 10 classroom teachers.

Submitted by Jim


Thanksgiving Day was approaching and the family had received a Thanksgiving card with a painting of a Pilgrim family on their way to church. Grandma showed the card to her small grandchildren, observing: "The Pilgrim children liked to go to church with their mothers and fathers."

"Oh yeah?" her young grandson snorted. "Then why is their dad carrying that rifle?"

Submitted by Dan

"from "The Organist's Dictionary of Real Meanings""

And also with you: One of the responses said or sung after the minister has said something, such as "there seems to be something wrong with this microphone

Bach: German composer (1685-1750) who wrote music for examinations in organ playing.

Basse chantate: Bass with a voice suitable for melodic delivery and lyrical parts. They are most commonly seen flying on pigs when the moon is full.

Berlioz: French composer (1803-1869). His mother was a devout Christian and his father a devout atheist. He satisfied them both by writing much beautiful church music but not believing it.

Blues: Any song played slowly which starts "woke up this morning".

Bold experiment: Rector's idea that went wrong.

Buxtehude: Danish composer (1637-1707) who wrote fine organ music and wanted Bach to marry his daughter. He inspired Bach to write organ music and marry someone else.

Canon law: The rule which states that the photocopier breaks down just before printing the last page of the choir anthem.

Churches Together: A body which vainly tries to get Baptists an d Catholics to talk to each other, to get the Free Presbyterians to talk to anyone, and to get Anglicans to talk to other Anglicans.

Cipher: A note which stays on after its key has been released. The organist has a choice of either removing the pipe or playing Messiaen.

Clergy: Those who wish to serve the church but are not clever enough to play the organ.

Coloratura soprano: A singer who has great trouble finding the proper note, but who has a wild time hunting for it.

Console: Musical term for either the part of the organ where the player sits or what some else must do to the organist when the hymn list includes If I Were a Butterfly.

Constructive criticism: The usual excuse for being rude about the music.

Cor anglais: French for "English horn". This refers to an instrument which is neither English nor a horn, but a form of oboe. The instrument is actually French but cannot be called a French horn because that term in used to describe another instrument – which is German.

Cornopean: Stop on an organ where the church could not afford a trumpet.

Custom: In church parlance, this is something done once before, as in "it is our custom". If done two years running, it is a "tradition", and after three years, it is a "long-standing tradition".

Deep meaning: A praise hymn which has more than ten words.

Diplomacy: The art of telling someone to go to Hell so nicely that they look forward to the journey.

Divine guidance: The belief that:
a) God is bothered by what hymns are sung at St. Thomas on Sunday.
b) God chose not to share this wisdom with those who choose the hymns.
c) inexplicably God shared this only with the speaker, and
d) by an amazing coincidence they just happen to be the speaker's favorites.

Doppelschlag: German term for the musical ornament called a 'turn" but which makes it sound a whole lot more exciting.

Enharmonic: Giving the right note the wrong name.

Faith partners: Members of other religions. The modern virtue of working with our faith partners was previously known as the sin of pluralism.

Falsetto: Tenor who is not as good at jumping over fences as he thought.

Family service: The usual penalty for naughty organists.

Figured bass: Method of indicating harmony never used in performance. Its sole purpose is to prevent proper musicians from passing examinations.

Foolish bridesmaids: Former name given to the parable in Matthew 25:1—13. It must now be known as "the parable of the cerebrally challenged bridespersons".

Furioso: Musical term indicating that music is to be played in the manner of an organist who has just been asked to play If I Were a Butterfly.

Fux: Austrian composer (1660-1741) whose name should be pronounced to rhyme with "hooks", particularly if you want to keep your job.

Giuseppe Verdi: Composer of operas (1813-1901) who had the good sense to be born in Italy. Had he been born in England, his name would have been Joe Green, which does not have qu ite the same quality.

Good grace: When an organist does not respond with abuse to comments from a church member but offers to waive the fee for playing the organ at their parents' wedding.

Good organist: Organist at a person's previous church.

Guitar chords: Simple method for indicating harmony in popular music. It is an extremely sensible and useful form of notation which is widely used, and is therefore not taught in music colleges.

If I were a butterfly: A song which has made organists finally acknowledge that perhaps Wide, Wide as the Ocean was not too bad, after all.

Informal worship: Liturgical equivalent of a two-year-old's birthday party.

Inquisition: When one Christian burned another at the stake for not properly showing the love of Christ to the world.

Isorhythmic: Term used to describe a performance of a madrigal by singers using different editions.

Light bulb: Something which provides illumination and endless jokes in church. An exception is for the organ pedal board where a light bulb serves only to fill a dead electrical socket.

Mass in B minor: Work by Bach, so-called because most of it is in D major.

Mode: Scale with the black notes left out.

Musicians Union: Where mafia members go when expelled for bad behavior.

Musicologist: Someone who finds the theory of music too exciting.

Octave coupler: Non-speaking stop used when the organist can stil hear the rector during a hymn.

Organ practice: Private performance of a duet for organ and vacuum cleaner.

Organum: Term which has had no meaning since the 12th century and is therefore widely included in music exams.

Pardon?: The standard answer when someone asks you why you play the organ so loudly.

Phrasing: This is an important aspect of singing, as in the hymn My God I love thee not; because I hope for heaven thereby.

Pipe: Tube with holes in it. Small pipes are called flutes. Large pipes are called water mains.

Practice: Last resort of an organist about to give a recital.

Prelude: The easy bit Bach wrote to trick you into playing one of his fugues.

Psalm 169: Indication on a service sheet that the church secretary does not full understand the subtleties of church music.

Retreat: What clergy go on to advance the cause of Christianity – which explains a lot.

Richard Strauss: Member of the Strauss family who was not related to any of the others.

Second half: Indication in a psalter that you are playing the wrong bit of the chant.

Secularism: The process of removing God from every aspect of human life, and then asking where God is when something goes wrong.

Sesquialtera: Organ mixture stop of two ranks provided by an organ builder who is bored with using the work "mixture".

Shakes: Effect in music produced either by a rapid alternation of notes or by ask ing the organist to play If I Were a Butterfly.

Speed of sound: This is about 772 miles per hour, showing that however keen you are to get away from the sound, it is even keener to get away from you.

Stainer's Crucifixion: Good idea.

Stockhausen: Most cities now have laws which require dog owners to remove this from the pavement.

String quartet: A Soviet symphony after touring the USA.

Tenth: Adding a third to an eighth, proving that music is not a branch of mathematics.

Trio: Term meaning three and which is therefore used as a middle section for any number of players. An exception is a trio sonata, which uses four players.

Trumpet: Stop on an organ, so named because it sounds nothing like a trumpet.

Typing errors: Proof that word processors can be demonically possessed comes from service sheets which say:
I know that my Redeemer lies
Her would I touch and handle things unseen
All around thy throne, a thong
Snug Mattins; Evensnog

Unaccompanied: When a choir sings without the organ playing. For some reason, this often makes the organ suddenly go sharp.

Submitted by Jim


How do you clean a tuba? With a tube o' toothpaste.

Submitted by Ruth


What instrument does the hobo play?

The Obo

Submitted by bob fitgerald

"Choir Directors"

How many choir directors does it take to change a light bulb? Nobody knows, because nobody ever watches a choir director.

Submitted by Mary Gifford

"Bad when the Drums stop"

B'wana was trekking the jungle with a long train of bearers.
Suddenly in the distance drums begin to pound. As the party trekked towards the sound of the drums occasionally a screaming native would run by in the opposite direction. B'wana asks his translator what the natives were screaming and the translator says:"BAAAD WHEN THE DRUMS STOP!". As the party closes on the drums, more and more natives run by screaming "BAAAAAD WHEN THE DRUMS STOP." Finally in frustration B'wana grabs one of the fleeing natives and with the help of his translator asks "why is it bad when the drums stop?". The answer? "THEN COMES BASS SOLO"

Submitted by John Reed Mississippi Gulf Coast

"Hymns & Praise Choruses (Author Unknown)"

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked how it was.

"Well," said the farmer, "It was good. They did something different though. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns."

Praise choruses?" said the wife. "What are those?"

"Oh, they're OK. They're sort of like hymns, only different." said the farmer.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked the wife.

The farmer said, "Well, it's like this. . .if I were to say to you:

'Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh Martha, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the cows, cows, cows are in the corn, are in the corn, the corn, corn corn.'

Then if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three more times, well that would be a praise chorus."

But then. . . .

A young, new Christian usually went to his local church, but one weekend attended a small town church. When he came home, his wife asked how it was.

"Well," said the young man, "It was good. They did something different though. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."

"Hymns?" said the wife. "What are those?"

"Oh, they're OK. They're sort of like regular songs, only different." said the young man.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife.

"Well, it's like this. . .if I were to say to you:

'Martha, the cows are in the corn.'

Well, that would be a regular song. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you:

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals, who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense,
Harkenest they in God's sun or His rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea, those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broke free from their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn.
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.

Then if I were to do only versus one, three, and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn."

Submitted by Jim

"Altos - beware!"

How do you tell when there's an alto at your door?
She can't find the key and doesn't know when to come in!!

Submitted by Jim

"Do you know your hymns?"

DO YOU KNOW YOUR HYMNS? My Uncle Ed Martin sent this to me.
>Dentist's Hymn....................Crown Him with Many Crowns
>Weatherman's Hymn..................There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
>Contractor's Hymn......................The Church's One Foundation
>The Tailor's Hymn......................Holy, Holy, Holy
>The Golfer's Hymn..................... There's a Green Hill Far Away
>The Politician's Hymn................Standing on the Promises
>Optometrist's Hymn....................Open My Eyes That I Might See
>The IRS Agent's Hymn................I Surrender All
>The Gossip's Hymn.....................Pass It On
>The Electrician's Hymn..............Send The Light
>The Shopper's Hymn..................Sweet Bye and Bye
>The Realtor's Hymn..................... I've Got a Mansion, Just Over
>The Massage Therapists Hymn.... He Touched Me
>The Doctor's Hymn....................... The Great Physician
>AND for those who speed on the highway - a few hymns:
>45mph....................God Will Take Care of You
>65mph....................Nearer My God To Thee
>85mph....................This World Is Not My Home
>95mph....................Lord, I'm Coming Home
>100mph.........Precious Memories
>Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
>Give me the grace to see a joke,
>To get some humor out of life,
>And pass it on to other folk.

Submitted by Gregg Kortesma


Have you heard the story of the mother with the eight-year-old boy who didn't talk? She took him to specialist after specialist. “The boy is healthy and intelligent. I can't understand what was wrong with him,” said the medics. Finally, one of the specialists said, “Take the lad to church.” “Well,” said the mom. “We hardly ever go to church, but I'm ready to try anything.” So off they went to church. Nice and early. When the organist began the prelude, the boy turned to his mom and said, "Mom, I have lots of things to say to you!" The mother was stunned. She phoned the doctor. “How did you know that going to church would help?” "Easy," said the doctor. "Everyone talks during the prelude!"

Submitted by Jim

"Just Barking"

A guy and his dog walk into a bar. The guy says to the bartender, "This dog knows everything about music and can answer any question you have."

The bartender says, "You're nuts!" The guy says, "Go ahead -- ask him something."

So the bartender says to the dog, "OK, who is the greatest contrapuntal composer of the 17th century?"

The dog replies, "BACH." The bartender says, "Aw, c'mon, he's just barking. He doesn't know anything."

The guy says, "Hey, go ahead, ask him something else." The bartender tries again. "OK, who was the greatest composer of lieder of the late 19th century?"

The dog replies, "Wolf." The bartender says, "This is ridiculous -- he's just barking. Get lost!"

The guy says, "No he's not -- go ahead, one more time, ask him a question."

Disgustedly, the bartender tries again. "Who was the greatest German composer between the two world wars?" The dog answers, "Orff."

The bartender says, "That does it!" and proceeds to physically toss the guy and his dog out of the bar onto the sidewalk on their behinds.

The dog looks at the guy and says, "Should I have said Hindemith?"

Submitted by Kenn

"NOT by GROVE's DICTIONARY - from Al Heller"

Obbligato - being forced to practice

Con Moto - yeah baby, I have a car

Allegro - a little car

Metronome - short, city musician who can fit into a Honda Civic

Lento - the days leading up to Easto

Largo - beer brewed in Germany or the Florida Keys

Piu Animato - clean out the cat's litter box

Con Spirito - drunk again

Colla Voce - this shirt is so tight I can't sing

Improvisation - what you do when the music falls down

Prelude - warm-up before the clever stuff

Flats - English apartments

Chords - things organists play with one finger

Discords - thing that organists play with two fingers

Suspended Chords - useful for lynching the vocalist

Time Signatures - things for drummers to ignore

Melody - an ancient, new almost extinct art in songwriting

Klavierstuck - A term used by German furniture movers attempting to get a piano through a narrow doorway.

Music Stand - An intricate device used to hold music. Comes in two sizes - too high or too low - always broken.

Tonic - A medicinal drink consumed in great quantity before a performance, and in greater quantity afterwards.

Dominant - What parents must be if they expect their children to practice.

Concert Hall - A place where large audiences gather, for the sole purpose of removing paper wrappings from candy and gum.

Soto Voce - singing while drunk

Agogic - playing high enough on an oboe to make the eyes bulge.

Cadenza - slapping noise on office furniture

Fandango - grabbing the pull chain on the ceiling fan

Prima Volta - jump start with a battery

Refrain - proper technique for playing bagpipes

Smorzando - with melted chocolate and marshmallow

Submitted by Marie

"New Musical Terms"

In an effort to keep you abreast of the ever-changing world of musical terminology, we provide you with some terms with which you should be familiar:

Adagio Fromaggio:
To play in a slow and cheesy manner.

A musical composition that is infernally slow.

Angus Dei:
To play with a divine, beefy tone.

Referring to the prohibition of cell phones in the concert hall.

A Patella:
Unaccompanied knee-slapping.

A composition, solo or instrument, you regret playing.

A series of notes played by a performer, not intended by the composer.

A musical entrance that is somewhere in the vicinity of the correct pitch.

Bar Line:
What musicians form after a concert.

Concerto Grossissimo:
A really bad performance.

Coral Symphony:
(see Beethoven-Caribbean period).

Cornetti Trombosis Disastrous:
The entanglement of brass instruments that can occur when musicians exit hastily down the stage stairs.

Dill Piccolino:
A wind instrument that plays only sour notes.

A note that is held over and over and over and ..

A rest of indefinite length and dubious value.

Fog Hornoso:
A sound that is heard when the conductor's intentions are not clear.

A sensible, inexpensive brass instrument.

Gaul Blatter:
A French horn player.

Good Conductor:
A person who can give an electrifying performance.
Or, alternative use, one who obeys the orchestra and/or chorus.

Gregorian Champ:
Monk who can hold a note the longest.

Gradually getting annoyingly louder.

A romantic song that's pretty awful.

Molto bolto:
Head straight for the ending.

Opera buffa:
Musical stage production by nudists.

Poochini Musical:
Performance, accompanied by a dog.

Pre-Classical Conservatism:
School of thought which fostered the idea, "If it ain't baroque, don't fix it."

Plucking of a stringed instrument to produce a bright, bubbly sound, usually accompanied by sparkling water with lemon (wine optional).

Tempo Tantrumo:
When a young band refuses to keep time with the conductor.

The annoying or irritating sounds made by extremely cheap bells.

A gradual buildup to a fiery conclusion.

Playing REALLY loud in order to wake up the audience.

Al dante con muncho:
Text painting using molars and lots of snack food

Music that frightens people all over the world

Picksanozo a tempo:
The sound of plucking a bugger from ones nose in rhythm

Al Fresco mitt lager:
French music heard outside with a German beer

Musica ad nauseum in peptobizmahl:
Peppy music that sometimes makes you sick

Perpetua in mobile gasstrando:
The sound of a bagpipe playing in the lowest register possible in imitation of the sound of passing wind - sometimes also known as: in flatulence detecto con grosso

Submitted by Jim

"A Mixed Bag"

What's the difference between a puppy and a singer-songwriter? Eventually the puppy stops whining.


What are the three most difficult years in a bass players life?
Second grade.


What do you say to a guitarist in a three- piece suit?
Will the defendant please rise.


Q: How does a guitar player show he's planning for the future?
A: He buys two cases of beer instead of one.


What's the difference between a musician and a 16 inch pizza?
The pizza can feed a family of four.


A tour manager comes across the guitarist and bass player fighting at the side of the stage and pulls them apart asking what the problem was.
"That dummy de-tuned one of the strings on my bass", says the bass player, "And we're on stage in five minutes."
"So what's the problem?" asks the tour manager.
"He won't tell me which string it was he de-tuned", said the Bassist.


A man gives his son an electric bass for his 15th birthday, along with a coupon for four bass lessons.
When the son returns from his first lesson, the father asks, "So, what did you learn?"
"Well, I learned the first five notes on the E string."
Next week, after the second lesson, the father again asks about the progress, and the son replies, "This time I learned the first five notes on the A string."
One week later, the son comes home far later than expected, smelling of cigarettes and beer. So the father asks: "Hey, what happened in today's lesson?"
"Dad, I'm sorry I couldn't make it to my lesson; I had a gig!"


A guitar player comes to the doctor and complains about a serious deterioration of his memory. He especially has a hard time remembering correct changes and is afraid he'll lose all his gigs. Since the doctor can't find the cause, he asks the guitarist to leave behind his brain for a week in his lab for more detailed examinations.

After seven days the guitar player fails to show up, and even after 2 more weeks there's no sign of him.
Finally the doctor runs into him on the street, grabs him and asks: "Excuse me, but your brain is still waiting for you to stop by and pick it up, so why don't you show up?"

The guitarist says, "Well, I think you can keep it; I finally switched to bass..."

Submitted by Kenn

"No Batteries Necessary"

As he boarded the Metro bus, Finn thought he was imagining things.

Seated behind the wheel on a pile of cushions and a modified chair was the smallest dwarf he had ever seen. Couldn't be any more than two feet tall. He was wearing a green uniform and a hat straight out of Robin Hood. A pair of curly-toed boots swung proudly in the vicinity of the gas and brake pedals.

He stared directly ahead and kept repeating the same word over and over, "Tock, ... tock, ... tock, ..." Despite the cushions, he could just see over the wheel. It was difficult to imagine him driving a bus.

Finn deposited the fifty-cent fare and looked around for a seat. Nobody seemed overly concerned about t he driver's stature so he shrugged his shoulders and sat down next to a bookish-looking woman wearing pop bottle glasses.

"Did you notice the driver," he asked nonchalantly?

"Yes," she said. "He's been on some of the other runs but it's the first time I've seen him on this one."

Finn shook his head in bewilderment. He'd never seen such a short driver, but if everyone else was satisfied, well, who was he to complain. But still...

"Hardly seems tall enough to handle a bus."

The woman nodded in agreement. "He's a strange little man. Never says much, just 'Tock, .. tock, .. tock, ...' over and over. It's a little bit unsettling, if you know what I mean."

He did. "Seems a bit bizarre to me. You have any idea why he keeps repeating it?"

"Oh yes," she answered. "I mentioned him to a friend of mine who works with the Metro Line, you know, the ones who run the buses? Well, he told me this guy came in one morning looking for a job. Said he'd been out of work for a while and would appreciate a chance to prove that his height was no impediment to driving a bus. So he did a test and passed with flying colors. Hired him right on the spot."

They could hear the steady "Tock, .. tock, .. tock, ..." over the muted roar of the traffic as the dwarf navigated the narrow streets.

"But why does he keep repeating that same word?"

"Oh, that's his job. He's a Metro-gnome!"

Submitted by Kenn

"Still No Respect"

St. Peter asks the person in front of the pearly gates, "What did you do in life?" The reply - "I was a doctor" - brought a generous smile from St. Peter who said, "Very noble profession, you are welcome in heaven. Of course, there's nothing for you to do here as we have no illness of any kind, but you are most welcome in heaven. The bar on the left goes on forever, the buffet on the right goes on to eternity, and the pink fluffy looking cloud in the middle is where God hangs out; feel free to talk to God, eat and drink as much as you like; you are welcome in heaven. "

St. Peter asks the next person, "What did you do in life?" The reply - "I was a lawyer" - brought a disgruntled look as St. Peter rolled his eyes and said, "Well, everyone is welcome in heaven. Of course, there's nothing for you to do here as we have no crime or ill will or accidents of any kind, but you are welcome in heaven. The bar on the left goes on forever, the buffet on the right goes on to eternity, and the pink fluffy looking cloud in the middle is where God hangs out; feel free to talk to God, eat and drink as much as you like; you are welcome in heaven."

St. Peter asks the next person, "What did you do in life?" The reply - "I was a trombonist" - brought an excited response of delight as St. Peter excitedly said, "You're going to love it here! The jam sessions go on forever! And you can play with Tommy Dorsey, or Glen Miller, or Kai Winding. JJ Johnson writes a new jazz duet and arrangements for the band every day. There's plenty of solo space, no weird keys, nothing out of tune, no bad notes, no bad changes, and the time is always rock solid - you're going to love it here! Oh, by the way, you didn't park out front, did you? Stay away from the bar and the buffet table - and don't try to talk to God - he's busy and please, go around to the loading dock.

Submitted by Kenn

"A Musical Groaner"

Steven Spielberg was discussing his new project - an action docudrama about famous composers starring top movie stars.

Sylvester Stallone, Steven Segal, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all present.

Spielberg strongly desired the box office 'oomph' of these superstars, so he was prepared to allow them to select what- ever composers they would portray, as long as they were very

"Well," started Stallone, "I've always admired Mozart. I would love to play him."

"Chopin has always been my favorite, and my image would improve if people saw me playing the piano," said Willis. "I'll play him."

"I've always been partial to Strauss and his waltzes," said Segal. "I'd like to play him."

Spielberg was very pleased with these choices. "Sounds splendid." Then,looking at Schwarzenegger, he asked, "Who do you want to be, Arnold?"

So Arnold says........"I'll be Bach."

Submitted by Jim

"Official Language Announcement"

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Submitted by Jim

" Bach!"

What would you get if bach were reincarnated as twins?


Submitted by Bess

"The Dangers of Music"

Three musical notes walk into a bar -- a G, an Eb, and a C. The
bartender looks up and says "We don't serve minors."

So the Eb leaves and the other two have a fifth between them.

After a few drinks, the G was out flat, and the experience was diminished.

Eventually, the C sobers up, sees one of his friends missing, the
other one passed out, and realizes to his horror that he's under a rest.

C was brought to trial, found guilty and convicted of contributing to the diminution of a minor and was sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at the Paul Williams/Neil Sedaka Correctional Facility.

Moral: Never enter a bar without a conductor.

Submitted by Dan

"Jokes to old for the late Henny Youngman to steal."

How many Concertos did Vivaldi write? One, he just rewrote it 496 times.

Father to Son: "Son what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Son to Father: "Dad, I want to be an Organist when I grow up."
Father to Son: "Sorry Son, it is impossible to do both!"

A man walks in on Beethoven and says he is collecting money to Bury a Music Critic. Beethoven asks, "How Much?" The Man answers, "6 Shillings." Beethoven replies, "Here is 12 Shillings, go bury 2 Music Critics!"

Submitted by Steven Foss

"Unoriginal joke"

What sign did the conductor post on his office door?
Bach in a minuet.
Bach after lunch.

Submitted by Hel

"A new text for AURELIA (The Church's One Foundation) "

Our organ's firm foundations
are diapasons fat,
installed in nineteen twenty,
from that day since they've sat.
From Boston, Mass., we sought it,
the object of our pride.
For fifteen grand we bought it
when our old tracker "died."

Elect from every family
of pipes that give a toot,
its great specification,
one string, one reed, one flute,
and leathered diapasons
at sixteen, eight, and four,
and sub and super couplers;
how could one ask for more?

Yet with a scornful wonder,
men hear it sore opprest
by ciphers rent asunder,
by windline leaks distresst.
Yet choirboys are listening;
their cry goes up: "How long,
before this hoot and hissing
cease drowning out our song?"

Yet still we oil the swellshades
each month with Three-in-One,
and grease the motor bearings
to quiet down its run.
O, miserable contraption!
Lord, grant us funds that we
may junk it for a tracker
with pressures under three.

Submitted by Jim

"Music store - true story"

It seems there was this music store clerk that was taking an order over the phone but was having trouble locating the piece of music the customer was looking for. He went to his supervisor for help and handed him the paper on which he had written the request. Come to find out, the customer was looking for a piece of music entitled "Could I But Express in Song" ... the clerk had written: "Kodaly Buttocks Pressing Song"

Submitted by Heidi Palider

"A definition of the Irish traditional drum, the Bodhran"

A taut pigskin played by an untaught pig.

Submitted by Andy McLaughlin

"Elim Lutheran"

On May 15, 2004, A Prairie Home Companion offered this humorous story about a church in Minnesota and its parade of organists.

Submitted by Kenn

"Hymn Opinions"

So you think you don't like new hymns? See if you can guess which hymns are described in the following letters.

1. What's wrong with the inspiring hymns with which we grew up? When I go to church, it is to worship God, not to be distracted with learning a new hymn. Last Sunday's was particularly unnerving. While the text was good, the tune was unsingable and the new harmonies were quite discordant.

2. Was it the organist's idea or yours that our peaceful worship service was shattered by that new hymn last Sunday? The music was sacrilegious, something one would expect to hear in a den of iniquity, not a church! Don't expect me even to attempt to sing it next time!

3. Pastor, I am no music scholar, but I feel I know appropriate church music when I hear it. Last Sunday's new hymn, if you call it that, sounded like a sentimental love ballad one might expect to hear crooned in a saloon. If you persist in exposing us to rubbish like this in God's house, don't be surprised if many of the faithful look for a new place to worship. The hymns we grew up with are all we need.


1. "What a Friend We Have In Jesus." From an 1890 letter to a minister.

2. "I Love To Tell the Story," written in 1874.

3. "Just As I Am," letter dated 1865.

Submitted by Jim Gladstone

"A Bach Family Road Trip"
Copyright (c) 2003 David Farley

Submitted by Lana Krakovskiy -

"Asking For A Raise"

A handyman, who was working for a Synagogue, had asked for a raise and was turned down. He decided to quit and went out to look for work.

First he went to a Catholic church and was told that in order to work there he would have to answer one question. The priest asked, "Where was Jesus born?"

The man answered, "Pittsburgh," and was thrown out on his ear.

He then went to a Baptist church. The minister told him that in order to get a job there he would have to answer a question. He was asked, "Where was Jesus born?"

The man answered, "Philadelphia." He was promptly tossed out.

Walking away he met the rabbi who was looking for him. The rabbi exclaimed, "The board approved your raise. Please come back immediately."

The man said to the rabbi, "I will come back only if you answer a question. "Where was Jesus born?"

The rabbi says, "Bethlehem".

"Of course!" cried the man. "I knew it was in Pennsylvania".

Submitted by Dan

"If Organists Wrote the Wedding Columns..."

On Saturday, the third of August, at well after the stated time of 2:00PM, Ann Jones and Bob Smith were married at Our Lady of Sorry Acoustics. The delay was attributed to the late arrival of an aunt of the bride and was deftly covered by organist Reginald Laudfuss (now celebrating his seventh month at the church) who improvised on an original theme for well over ten minutes. This improvisation was accomplished in all minor keys without the use of the organ's wholly unnecessary transposer. Mr. Laudfuss gives thanks to the church's wedding coordinator, Ima Thority, for flashing him a series of hand signals during the crisis.

Mr. Laudfuss chose a lightweight summer robe of shimmering burgundy to conceal his cutoffs and T-shirt. The organist's shoes, in tasteful black, were by Organmaster, accessorized with upgraded laces from Thom McAn. They are his third pair in about fifteen years. The wedding party wore the usual clothes.

The organ is the fourth or fifth rebuild of what was originally a dreadful 1920's theater organ from the Roxy. It now contains additional pipework from an Ox tracker, salvaged after that mysterious fire in a practice room at the University. Other stops have been added according to the tastes of organists who have come and gone. The Great Harmonic Flute was voiced by Harrison and purchased from the Cathedral of Ostentation during their 1977 project. The Wurlitzer Brass Trumpet (temporarily residing in place of the Swell Oboe) is the envy of the city; it is rumored to have been stolen (all 61 pipes!) from the now-shuttered Palace. The organ's combination action, unfortunately, is unreliable.

There were a sufficiently large number of attendants to build a lengthy processional upon, but despite last night's rehearsal they heedlessly hurried up the aisle, resulting in a drastic compression of the "Prince of Denmark's March." This critical number was therefore performed with no repeats, and Mr. Laudfuss pointedly ended on the dominant in protest.

However, the 8' Tuba (purchased pre-voiced over the internet and the central feature of the March) was a resounding success as could be measured by the smiles that spread throughout the congregation during the processional.

After a few minutes of talking by a clergy type, the organist played the first four phrases of the Schubert "Ave Maria" (in E-major to avoid a pulled pipe) on the shimmering Choir Gemshorn 8' (no tremolo) while the couple did something.

Later, somebody's female relative breathily sang "The Wedding Song." It appeared that this person's usual venue was a country-western bar, and some tension occurred during the solo. The soloist attempted to continue singing during the interludes. Mr. Laudfuss responded by trying to cover her error with cues from the Swell Trompette 8' (Wicks, 1940's, revoiced by Gantt in the 1958 rebuild) but she continued in her own misguided way forcing the organist to shuffle his music loudly. This contretemps prevented the congregation from enjoying the subtle chiff of the Choir Gedeckt 8', which would have been the only bright spot in a notoriously boring song.

The recessional was the Mendelssohn, chosen despite Mr. Laudfuss's counsel to the contrary. It was played on a satisfying plenum in A B A B A form to fit the available time. When the wedding party was finally out of the way Mr. Laudfuss presented the Widor Toccata as the postlude. The guests inconsiderately talked throughout the number, but the organist added stops as the noise level increased, masterfully maneuvering each drawknob, coupler and piston without missing a single note of the Widor. The sforzando button unexpectedly brought the Brass Trumpet into the ensemble but by now there was no turning back and the Widor ended breathtakingly. This noble feat did not go unnoticed by the congregation, who responded with audible sighs when the music stopped.

The bride and groom went to college somewhere, but they did not take any music. After their honeymoon they will blend into suburbia where they will produce children. The highlight of each year will be the replay of Mr. Laudfuss's work via a wedding video.

Submitted by Mark Steffens

"Mahatma Gandhi"

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him ....what?

A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Submitted by Dan

"Flute Jokes Link"

Submitted by Dan

"Hmmm... "

From a sermon title posted outside Union Congregational Church in York Beach, Maine: "Heavenly Forecast, Reign Forever."

Submitted by Dan

"Beethoven Goes Into a Bar..."

Beethoven goes into a bar and tells the bartender, "I just got rid of all of my chickens." The bartender says "Why'd you do that?" Beethoven says, "I couldn't take it anymore. Bach, bach, bach, bach, bach, bach, all the time!

Submitted by T.C.

"Kids In Church"

I was the substitute organist/choirmaster at a church in New Jersey this past Sunday. There was a baptism of two children, so the children's sermon appropriately included the topic of baptism. About 25 children came to the front of the church and sat on the steps. The pastor told them three times that no matter what happens, they were to stay seated. Well, he spoke about the baptism, and told the children how at Jesus' baptism, the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove. Lo and behold, the pastor presented the children with a real live dove! Thus, his instructions to stay seated no matter what suddenly had relevance. Well, the children did as they were told, and they took turns quietly petting the dove that the pastor held in his hand. Suddenly, from among the oohs and aahs, one kid shouted out, "Eeeew, Kenny, it pooped on you!" I don't think I've ever laughed harder in church in my whole life! Poor Kenny -- traumatized forever. Never mind the poor dove...

Submitted by Ronnie Grauman

"So that's what they are for . . ."

Miss Bea, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was much admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.

The pastor came to call on her one afternoon early in the spring, and she welcomed him into her Victorian parlor. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared a little tea.

As he sat facing her old pump organ, the young minister noticed a cut glass bowl sitting on top of it, filled with water. In the water floated, of all things, a condom. Imagine his shock and surprise. Imagine his curiosity!

Surely Miss Bea had flipped or something...! When she returned with tea and cookies, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him, and he could resist no longer.

"Miss Bea," he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" (pointing to the bowl).

"Oh, yes," she replied, "isn't it wonderful? I was walking downtown last fall and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to put it on the organ, keep it wet, and it would prevent disease. And you know... I haven't had a cold all winter!!"

Submitted by Anonymous

"Kids Letters to God - No Wonder God Loves Them So Much!"

Dear God,
Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now. Ginny

Dear God,
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. Joyce

Dear Mr. God,
I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had to have three stitches and a shot. Janet

Dear God,
If we come back as something, please don't let me be Jennifer Horton-because I hate her. Denise

Dear God,
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him anyway. Your friend (I am not going to tell you who I am.)

Dear God,
I read the Bible. What does begat mean? Nobody will tell me. Love, Alison

Dear God,
How did you know you were God? Charlene

Dear God,
Is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? Anita

Dear God,
I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. Nan

Dear God,
Did you really mean 'Do Unto Others As They Do Unto You,' because if you did then I'm going to fix my brother. Darla

Dear God,
I like the story about Chanukah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. Glenn

Dear God,
My Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go? Love, Dennis

Dear God,
Who draws the lines around the countries? Nan

Dear God,
It's O.K. that you made different religions, but don't you get mixed up sometimes? Arnold

Dear God,
In Bible times, did they really talk that fancy? Jennifer

Dear God,
What does it mean that you are a jealous God? I thought you had everything. Jane

Dear God,
How come you did all those miracles in the old days and don't do any now?

Dear God,
Please send Dennis Clark to a different camp this year. Peter

Dear God,
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. Larry

Dear God,
I keep waiting for spring but it never did come yet. Don't forget. Mark

Dear God,
You don't have to worry about me. I always look both ways. Dean

Dear God,
My brother told me about being born but it doesn't sound right. They are just kidding, aren't they? Marsha

Dear God,
If you watch in Church on Sunday, I will show you my new shoes. Mickey

Dear God,
Is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through business? Donny

Dear God,
In Sunday school they told us what you do. Who does it when you are on vacation? Jane

Dear God,
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school, they said you did it. So I bet he stole your idea. Sincerely, Donna

Dear God,
I do not think anybody could be a better god. Well, I just want you to know, but I am not just saying that because you are God. Charles

Dear God,
It is great the way you always get the Stars in the right places. Jeff

Dear God,
I am doing the best I can. Frank

Dear God,
I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool. Eugene

Dear God,
Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that, or was it an accident? Norma

Dear God,
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't you just keep the ones you have now? Jane

Dear God,
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? Neil

Dear God,
I want to be just like my daddy when I get big, but not with so much hair all over. Sam

Dear God,
I think about you sometimes, even when I'm not praying. Elliott

Dear God,
Of all the people who worked for you, I like Noah and David the best. Ro

Submitted by Timothy Moke

"Thanksgiving Forecast"

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high of near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side, while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days, with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops.

By early next week, eating pressure will be low, as the only wish left will be the bone

Submitted by Jim Gladstone

"Bad Band Players"

I heard this joke recently by a friend:

A conductor was having a problem with a drummer in his band class. He said out loud to the whole class, "When a wind player can't meet his duties, he is given two drum sticks and becomes a drummer." A couple of dummers in the back snickered, "And if he can't handle that, you take away one stick and make him a conductor."

Submitted by Ryan McCauslin

"Children say the darndest things!"

These are answers to test questions accumulated by music teachers in the state of Missouri:

--Agnus Dei was a woman composer famous for her church music.

--Refrain means don't do it. A refrain in music is the part you better not try to sing.

--A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.

--Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was rather large.

--Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling him. I guess he could not hear so good. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.

--Henry Purcell is a well known composer few people have ever heard of.

--Aaron Copland is one of your most famous contemporary composers. It is unusual to be contemporary. Most composers do not live until they are dead.

--When a singer sings, he stirs up the air and makes it hit any passing eardrums. But if he is good, he knows how to keep it from hurting.

--Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel.

--I know what a sextet is, but I had rather not say.

--Caruso was at first an Italian. Then someone heard his voice and said he would go a long way. And so he came to America.

--Probably the most marvelous fugue was the one between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

--A trumpet is an instrument when it is not an elephant sound.

--Last month I found out how a clarinet works by taking it apart. I both found out and got in trouble.

--I can't reach the brakes on this piano!

--The main trouble with a French horn is it's too tangled up.

--The most dangerous part about playing cymbals is near the nose.

--I would like for you to teach me to play the cello. Would tomorrow or Friday be best?

--Just about any animal skin can be stretched over a frame to make a pleasant sound once the animal is removed.

--Anyone who can read all the instrument notes at the same time gets to be the conductor.

Submitted by Marie Ann Chenevey

"Organ Humor"

In my web travels, I came across this link that has some good organ laughs:

Submitted by Dan

"Bach Lovers Unite!"

Hi Dan,

I have been enjoying your website for about a year now. Your sense of humor is very much appreciated.

How about a new contest to celebrate the world's greatest composer. Many organists have some great license plates. Mine gets noticed each day.

Best wishes and much success!

Submitted by Jeff Goodwin - Columbus, OH

"Picture This!"

This humorous anecdote was posted on a message board I frequent:

I also had a Great-aunt Babe who played the silents, out on the east end of Long island. She was the only other musician in my family that I ever knew about, then or since. She would come over and pound away on our piano, a hodgepodge of styles and familiar snippets of music, Beethoven to Joplin. It was always fat, busy and sloppy - probably because she never looked down at the keyboard once she began, and I mean never. Oom-pah stride piano jumps in the left hand, sometimes dead-on, sometimes missing by a mile, it never seemed to matter. That's the way they learned to play, they're always watching the film to maintain some semblance of sync to the action. You learned not to stand too close, she had huge rings on every finger and would knock you out if she clipped you on a glissando. She busted off one of my black notes once, doing exactly that, it went flying across the room. I don't think we asked her to play much after that. I remember as a kid questioning her about the music, she seemed to be clueless about any theory. I was not convinced that she knew what key she was flailing away in at any given time. I guess it's like they say: what you know will just get in your way. ;-] Bobby Simons

Submitted by Dan

"Why are there so few bassoonist jokes?"

1. All instument jokes are written by bassoonists.
2. Other instrumentalists are too stupid to write jokes.
3. They don't want to die.

Submitted by Camille (bassoonist)

"Freaky Merger"

Hey, did you hear that Xerox and Wurlitzer are going to merge? Yeah, they're going to make reproductive organs!

Submitted by Street Life newsletter

"What Did You Say?"

A 92-year-old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm. A couple of days later the doctor talked to the man and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?" The man replied, "Just doing what you said, Doctor, 'Get a hot mama and be cheerful.'" The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur. Be careful!'"

Submitted by Kenn

"Printed on a doormat:"

Doorbell baroque.
Call Bach later

Submitted by Kenn


Why do therapists find ministers hard to help?
Because they have altar egos!

Submitted by Dan Long

Click here to
buy this book at
Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History As It Ought to Be Taught by David W. Barber, Dave Donald (Illustrator). Paperback 2nd edition (September 1996)

To celebrate its 10th aniversary, Sound and Vision has prepared a special new edition, totally reformatted and updated by the author. Since its first publication a decade ago, this irreverent yet factual account of music history has become an internationally bestselling classic in the field of musical humor. Includes 35 illustrations.

Dictionary of Musicological Absurdities

a-b-a form: a musical convention long preferred by composers who can't "C."

adagio fromaggio: to play in a slow and cheesy manner.

a la regretto: tempo assigned to a performance by the conductor AFTER it is panned by the local music critics.

al capone: performing while standing on a neutered rooster.

al dente con tableau: in opera, chew the scenery.

allegro con brillo: the fastest way to wash pots and pans.

anDante: A musical composition that is Infernally slow.

Angus Dei: a divine, beefy tone.

antiphonal: referring to the prohibition of cell phones in the concert hall

a patella: unaccompanied knee-slapping.

appologgiatura: an ornament you regret after playing it.

approximatura: a series of notes played by a performer and not intended by the composer, especially when disguised with an air of "I meant to do that."

approximento: a musical entrance that is somewhat close to the correct pitch.

baffoon: baboon with bassoon.

barbie dolce: sweet but plastic.

bar line: what musicians form after a concert.

bass lure: a seductive refrain.

basso continuo: the act of game fishing after the legal season has ended.

basso profundo: an opera about deep sea fishing.

basso refundo: the sad but predictable consequence of the ill-fated "Three Basses" concert tour.

brake drum: The instrument most used to slow the tempo in an orchestra.

bull horn: a brass instrument that plays notes you wouldn't believe.

cacophany: composition incorporating many people with chest colds.

carmina banana: a medieval musical plantain.

concerto con carne: a piece for single instrument played in a "chili" manner.

concerto grosso: a really BAD performance.

contrababoon: the simian assistant of a Latin American revolutionary organ grinder.

Coral Symphony: (see: Beethoven -- Caribbean period).

cornetti trombosis: disastrous entanglement of brass instruments that can occur when musicians are not careful exiting the stage.

crashendo: the increasing sense of aggravation felt by band members as those trumpet players keep dropping their mutes on the hard stage floor.

d.c. al capone: you betta go back to the beginning, capiche?

dill piccolo: a wind instrument that plays only sour notes.

diminderwindo: fading of daylight at dusk, as seen from indoors.

diminuendo: the process of quieting a rumor in the orchestra pit.

eardrum: a teeny, tiny tympani.

etude brute: an early form of Roman music performed with a rapid, sharp, repetitive beat.

fermantra: a note that is held over and over and over and...

fermatahorn: an Alpine wind instrument used for playing long notes.

fermoota: a rest of indefinite length and dubious value.

fiddler crabs: grumpy string players.

flute flies: gnat-like bugs that bother musicians playing out-of-doors.

fog horn: a brass instrument that plays when the conductor's intentions are not clear.

fortississippi: with mighty, flowing strength.

frugalhorn: a sensible, inexpensive brass instrument.

fruitti tutti: a chorus singing together in an exaggerated, overripe manner.

Gaul blatter: a French horn player.

  good conductor: A person who can give an electrifying performance.

grace note: the I.O.U. you deposit in the church collection plate when you're out of cash.

gregorian champ: monk who can hold a note the longest.

ground brass: when someone in the marching band drops a sousaphone.

ground hog: someone who takes control of the repeated bass line and won't let others play it.

Herbert von Carryon: a conductor who never rides in the cargo hold.

hyperportamento: a tone that soars, bends, strains until it pierces into another dimension and leaves, ever after, a porthole to heaven.

kvetchendo: gradually getting ANNOYINGLY louder.

maestrousseau: at the pace of a wedding march.

mallade: a romantic song that's pretty awful

matterhorn: an intrument of cosmic influence designed to create something out of nothing.

molto bolto: head straight for the ending, but don't make it seemed rushed.

mucho caffinato: play loudly enough to wake up those sleeping in the audience.

oeuferture: musical composition commissioned by the National Egg Marketing Council.

oraToro: a lawn mower may be substituted for the original instrumentation at this point.

opera buffa: musical stage production at a nudists' camp.

pastorale: beverage to drink in the country when listening to Beethoven with a member of the clergy.

phollyphonic: badly arranged harmonizations.

pianorama: instrument capable of broad, sweeping musical performances.

pipe smoker: an extremely virtuosic organist.

pizzacato: the act of removing anchovies from an Italian dish with short, quick motions and tossing them to a nearby awaiting feline friend.

Placebo Domingo: faux tenor.

pollyphonic: orchestra made up of lots of parrots

poochini: When singing, to be accompanied by your dog.

Pre-Classical Conservatism: school of thought which fostered the idea, "if it ain't baroque, don't fix it"

prelude: a cue, found in some of the earlier oratorios, instructing those singing the roles of the wicked to pray in an offensive or profane manner

presto chango: quickly going from a very fast to a very slow tempo

pseudo-dolce: Nutrasweet

(The) Rights of Strings: manifesto of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Bowed Instruments.

rooti tooti: use of a potato as a trumpet mute.

rubato: cross between rhubarb and a tomato.

schmaltzando: a sudden burst of music from the Guy Lombardo band.

snacktus: Quiet, contemplative music played during the appetizer at Catholic wedding receptions

Sosaphone: a cylindrical wooden instrument used to play smash hits.

spinet: politician's order .

spritzicato: plucking of a stringed instrument to produce a bright, bubbly sound, usually accompanied by sparkling water with lemon (wine optional).

status cymbal: an instrument to be played at inaugurations and socialite balls.

Tempe Arizona: a hot passage.

tempo tantrum: what a young orchestra is having when it's not keeping time with the conductor.

timpani alley: a row of kettledrums. Term originated in New York City area.

tincanabulation: the annoying or irritating sounds made by an unmusical person using extremely cheap bells. From Poe's "The Bells" and "tin cans".

toiletto: the effect on the human voice of reverberation in small rooms with ceramic tiles.

trouble clef: any clef one can't read, e.g., the alto clef for pianists.

vesuvioso: a gradual buildup to a fiery conclusion.

woodwind: a noise in the game of golf, made by a club missing the ball on a tee shot.

A Guide to the Organ
by Cory Edwards

Cory Edwards is also a stand-up comedian. You can book him for your next event through Clean Comedians. or (1-800-354-GLAD)
Please mention

Click here for a larger, printer-friendly version of this cartoon

Click here for other cartoons and books by Cory Edwards.

You have to love kids!

"When's the best time to visit the dentist?"

"Tooth hurty!"


Click here for a selection of P.D.Q. Bach CDs available at
Organ Jokes!
This is a link to the joke page of the
Irish Pipe Organ Page website.
Don't miss "The Ten Commandments of Organ Practice."

Funny Story -- The First Family

Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even G-d's omnipotence did not extend to His own children. After creating heaven and earth, G-d created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was, "Don't."
"Don't what?" Adam replied.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," G-d said.
"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve ... we have forbidden fruit!"
"No way!"
"Yes, way!"
"Do NOT eat the fruit!" said G-d.
"Because I am your Father and I said so!" G-d replied, wondering why he hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants. A few minutes later, G-d saw His children having an apple break, and was He ticked. "Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" G-d, as our first parent, asked.
"Uh huh," Adam replied.
"Then why did you?" asked the Father.
"I don't know," said Eve.
"She started it!" Adam said.
"Did not!"
"Did too!"
Having had it with the two of them, G-d's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus, the pattern was set and it has never changed! But there is reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If G-d had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you.

Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two Aspirin" and "Keep away from children."


Ice Fishing

A man who had his share of the bottle, decides to go ice fishing, so he gathers his gear and goes walking around until he finds a big patch of ice. He heads into the center of the ice and begins to saw a hole. All of sudden, a loud booming voice comes out of the sky. "You will find no fish under that ice."

The drunk looks around, but sees no one. He starts sawing again. Once more, the voice speaks, "As I said before, there are no fish under the ice."

The drunk looks all around, high and low, but can't see a single soul. He picks up the saw and tries one more time to finish.

Before he can even start cutting, the huge voice interrupts. "I have warned you three times now. There are no fish!"

The drunk is now flustered and somewhat scared, so he asks the voice, "How do you know there are no fish? Are you God trying to warn me?"

"No," the voice replied. "I am the manager of this hockey rink."


Church Bell Ringer

There was a church in dire need of a bell ringer as the one they had just recently passed away.

Several persons had applied for the job as bell ringer, but they were turned down, as they did not meet the criteria needed.

One day a gentleman came to the church and asked if he could fill the position as bell ringer.

The priest hiring looked at the man and said "How can you ring the bell? You have no arms to pull on the rope."

The man said to the priest, "Let me show you," so they walked up to the belfry where the big bell hung and the man with no arms took five steps back and ran towards the bell and smacked it with his face. The bell rang and the priest said, "I'm sorry but it was not loud enough for all the townspeople to hear in case of an emergency."

The man with no arms then stepped back ten paces and ran towards the bell and smacked it again with his face. The bell rang again but the priest was not satisfied and said he was sorry but could not hire him.

The man with no arms said "Please give me one more chance and I will show you that I can ring the bell loud enough for all the townspeople to hear."

The priest said "OK."

The man with no arms stepped back fifteen paces and ran as hard as he could but this time he missed the bell and fell out of the belfry to the ground to his death.

The priest ran down as fast as he could to check on the man with no arms. As the priest approached, there was already a crowd of townspeople gathered around the body.

The priest explained what happened and asked if anyone knew who the stranger with no arms was.

Several of the townspeople walked up to look and told the priest they had no idea who the man with no arms was. Then suddenly a gentleman appeared and took a good look at the man with no arms and told the priest,

"No father, I don't know who he is, but his face "RINGS A BELL!"


Organist Humor

The next story is in fact not a joke but a true story. Nevertheless, it is so funny (at least for organists) that I find it as good as a joke.

In the '60s (last century!) a well-known Dutch organist was playing a service in a small village church as a replacement for their own organist. The organ was still original and it did not have a blower yet. Instead an organ peddler had to stand in the church tower and peddle the wind for the organ. A little bell was used to tell him when to start (the Calcant).

At a given point the congregation was to sing Psalm 150. The well-known organist started to play the introduction but got carried away and played quite a long improvisation. Finally he starts with the 1st verse and the congregation started to sing. But then to his surprise the organ suddenly made a funny noise and quit playing as there was no more wind. The organist got off the the organ bench and rushed into the tower to see why the organ peddler had quit peddling. So he says to the peddler, "We are not finished yet with Psalm 150!" and the peddler responds, "Don't tell me what to do. I have been peddling this organ for more than 30 years and I know how much wind goes into Psalm 150!"

-Chris Faddegon, The Netherlands


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Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History As It Ought to Be Taught by David W. Barber, Dave Donald (Illustrator). Paperback 2nd edition (September 1996)

To celebrate its 10th aniversary, Sound and Vision has prepared a special new edition, totally reformatted and updated by the author. Since its first publication a decade ago, this irreverent yet factual account of music history has become an internationally bestselling classic in the field of musical humor. Includes 35 illustrations.