DefinitionsString quartet: a good violinist, a bad violinist, an ex-violinist, and someone who hates violinists, all getting together to complain about composers.
Detache: an indication that the trombones are to play with their slides removed.
Glissando: a technique adopted by string players for difficult runs.
Subito piano: indicates an opportunity for some obscure orchestra player to become a soloist.
Risoluto: indicates to orchestras that they are to stubbornly maintain the correct tempo no matter what the conductor tries to do.
Senza sordino: a term used to remind the player that he forgot to put his mute on a few measures back.
Crescendo: a reminder to the performer that he has been playing too loudly.
Conductor: a musician who is adept at following many people at the same time.
Clef: something to jump from before the viola solo.
Transposition: the act of moving the relative pitch of a piece of music that is too low for the basses to a point where it is too high for the sopranos.
Vibrato: used by singers to hide the fact that they are on the wrong pitch.
Half step: the pace used by a cellist when carrying his instrument.
Chromatic scale: an instrument for weighing that indicates half-pounds.
Bar line: a gathering of people, usually among which may be found a musician or two.
Ad libitum: Ad a premier.
Beat: what music students do to each other with their instruments. The down beat is performed on top of the head, while the up beat is struck under the chin.
Cadence: when everybody hopes youíre going to stop, but you donít.
Diatonic: low-calorie Schweppes.
Lamentoso: with handkerchiefs.
Virtuoso: a musician with very high morals.
Music: a complex organisation of sounds that is set down by the composer, incorrectly interpreted by the conductor, who is ignored by the musicians, the result of which is ignored by the audience.
Oboe: an ill wind that nobody blows good.
Tenor: two hours before a nooner.
Diminished fifth: an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.
Perfect fifth: a full bottle of Jack Daniels.
Ritard: thereís one in every family.
Relative major: an uncle in the Marine Corps.
Relative minor: a girlfriend.
Bid band: when the bar pays enough to bring two banjo players.
Pianissimo: ďrefill this beer bottleĒ.
Repeat: what you do until they just expel you.
Treble: women ainít nothiní but.
Bass: the things you run around in softball.
Portamento: a foreign country youíve always wanted to see.
Arpeggio: ďAinít he that storybook kid with the big nose that grows?Ē
Tempo: good choice for a used car.
A440: the highway that runs around Nashville.
Transpositions: 1. men who wear dresses, 2. an advanced recorder technique where you change from alto to soprano fingering in the middle of a piece.
Cut time: 1. parole, 2. when everyone else is playing twice as fast as you are.
Order of sharps: what a wimp gets at the bar.
Passing tone: frequently heard near the baked beans at family barbecues.
Middle C: the only fruit drink you can afford when food stamps are low.
Perfect pitch: the smooth coating on a freshly paved road.
Cadenza: that ugly thing your wife always vacuums dog hair off of when company comes.
Whole note: whatís due after failing to pay the mortgage for a year.
Bass clef: where you wind up if you do fall off.
Quarter tone: what most standard pickups can haul.
Sonata: what you get from a bad cold or hay fever.
Clarinet: name used on your second daughter if youíve already used Betty Jo.
Cello: the proper way to answer the phone.
Bossa nova: the car your foreman drives.
Time signature: what you need from your boss if you forget to clock in.
Bach chorale: the place behind the barn where you keep the horses.
Audition: the act of putting oneself under extreme duress to satisfy the sadistic intentions of someone who has already made up his mind.
Accidentals: wronng notes.
Augumented fifth: a 36 ounce bottle.
Crotchet: like knitting, but faster.
Interval: how long it takes to find the right note, major interval: a long time, minor interval: a few bars, inverted interval: when you have to go back a bar and try again.
Intonation: singing through oneís nose.
Musica ficta: when you lose your place and have to bluff until you find it again.
Quaver: beginning violin class.
Metronome: a city-dwelling dwarf.
Allegro: leg fertilizer.
Transsectional: an alto who moves to the soprano section.
Instrument JokesWhatís the difference between a violin and a viola?
There is no difference. The violin just looks smaller because the violinistís head is so much bigger.
Whatís the difference between a violin and a fiddle?
A fiddle is fun to listen to.
How do you tell the difference between a violinist and a dog?
The dog knows when to stop scratching.
How many second violinists does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They canít get up that high!
Why do violinists put a cloth between their chin and their instrument?
Violins donít have spit valves.