If politicians were musicians

October 19, 2016 at 02:59 AM · What part would they play in an orchestra, and why?

Just for fun...

Replies (29)

October 19, 2016 at 04:14 AM · Easy,Trump would buy us all the Stradivarius and stuff... He would also build us an auditorium and we could play great again. Hilary would play the triangle, of course.

October 19, 2016 at 04:26 AM · More likely Trump would buy the orchestra, declare bankruptcy, fire the musicians, tear up their pension plans and sell the auditorium to build a casino.

October 19, 2016 at 08:28 AM · Yes, Lyndon is right!

October 19, 2016 at 08:35 AM · What????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

October 19, 2016 at 08:55 AM · And then tell the world that he'd dated half of the female members ...

October 19, 2016 at 08:59 AM · Of course some politicians are or were musicians - Bill Clinton on his saxophone was a very memorable part of a prior election campaign, and Tony Blair was in a rock band.

October 19, 2016 at 09:04 AM · Jello Biafra, the lead singer for the Dead Kennedys ran for Mayor of San Francisco on several occasions, I believe.

October 19, 2016 at 09:56 AM · "What????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????"

Yes, Lyndon, I do give credit when its due.

Stefan - unfortunately Tony Bliar was a dreadful musician - and a worse politician - and many people think he should be in the Hague on war crimes charges. I had better not say more.

October 19, 2016 at 12:09 PM · Thomas Jefferson was a dedicated amateur violinist. I have a book just about that aspect of him. He had a Tourte bow which ended up at Wurlitzers and a he was supposed to have had a Strad which somehow got lost. Can you imagine how much that Strad would go for if it were found and its provenance proven beyond a doubt?

Truman and Nixon were amateur pianists.

I can see Trump playing a really loud Trump-et. And Hillary Clinton, a really strident oboe with a very bad reed.

Rudy Guliani, so far as I know, does not play any instrument but he is a big Opera fan.

Musselini played the violin. Then there was Nero...

October 19, 2016 at 12:45 PM · Political/musical slogans for today's world:

- "Make Beethoven Great Again"

- "Tax the violinists who play in the top 1% of the E-String"

- "Paganini was outside the establishment"

- "Prevent all of our violinist jobs from going to the Gotham City Philharmonic"

- "No Suzuki lessons for children! (young kids shouldn't be riding motorcycles)"

- "Make shifting from 1st to 3rd position illegal! (it constitutes discrimination against 2nd position)"

- "Remove the bridge and build a wall."

- "Bach Sonatas and Partitas are unfair to accompanists"

- "Abolish fingerboarding"

- "Prevent illegal string crossing"

October 19, 2016 at 02:11 PM · Why don't we all play Clinton sax? Not to mention that junior Trudeau is already a musician, a great white-noise singer.

October 19, 2016 at 02:59 PM · A former British PM, Ted Heath, was a musician (organist, pianist, conductor), and returned to music when his political days were over.

A couple of generations previously, the composer and concert pianist Paderewski became PM of Poland.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is a pianist, particularly enjoying playing the music of Mozart.

October 19, 2016 at 06:28 PM · There would be no music anymore.

October 19, 2016 at 07:34 PM · Guess who would be put on viola!

October 19, 2016 at 08:10 PM · Hahaha! Or guess who would refuse to play 2nd violin!

October 19, 2016 at 08:30 PM · Let's turn it around: If musicians were politicians?

In fact, some of them already are, supporting quite dubious agendas on all sides of political spectrum.

Just the other day, I discovered to my great surprise that Wolfgang Eduard Schneiderhan (who together with Geza Anda and Pierre Fournier recorded my favorite take of Triple concerto by Beethoven) was a member of the N@z! party (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Schneiderhan_(violinist) )

Oddly enough, his old sins did not cost him his job in post-war Europe.

October 19, 2016 at 09:25 PM · Rebecca, I appreciate the lightheartedness (is that the right word?) with which you started this thread. However, one of the reasons I enjoy this site is because it is a break from all the political craziness. I did not expect to see such comments here, and I disagree with the above comments on Trump but that is a separate issue. Can we all please remember that this site is for talk about violin, not politics? I'm sure there are many members on here that support both candidates and wouldn't want to see criticism of their candidate on a website that is supposed to be about violin, not future presidents. It's a controversial issue. I've refrained from hinting at my political views and I hope others do the same. Please, let's keep this about jokes and not candidates.

October 20, 2016 at 01:47 AM · Trevor mentioned Heath and Paderewski, but there was also Henry VIII (almost up there with his contemporaries Tallis and Taverner) and Frederick the Great (a musician, but, according to one of his court musicians, not really a music lover - "If you are under the impression that the King loves music you are wrong; he only loves the flute–and more than that the only flute he loves is his own")

October 20, 2016 at 08:22 AM · I don't think Heath could have ever been called a musician ...

October 20, 2016 at 10:56 AM · Based on intelligence, Trump would clearly play the viola, but I wouldn't ask him to spell it.

On second thoughts, the "quality" of sound of bagpipes played indoors, sums up his bluster.

Cheers Carlo

October 20, 2016 at 11:07 AM · That's slightly unfair on Heath. He won an Organ Scholarship at Oxford - which in my day at least demanded a near professional playing ability (typically Associate if not Fellow of the Royal College of Organists). He didn't study music there though, he did Philosophy Politics and Economics like a lot of British prime ministers, but apparently seriously considered a career in music.

But it is difficult to count him as anything less than a good amateur musician. He conducted choirs right through his life, though surely the opportunity to conduct professional orchestras only came through political celebrity. Apparently when as a prominent politician he paid visits to different towns and cities in the UK he would research in advance any local churches with interesting organs and make arrangements to play them in any spare time between engagements. In retirement he wrote a popular book promoting music appreciation and actively supported charities encouraging participation in music.

Whatever one thinks of his political record, he didn't have the philistine tendencies of so many recent British politicians. When he was ousted as Prime Minister the image that captured the moment on the front page of many newspapers was of his Steinway grand piano being taken out of 10 Downing Street into a furniture van.

October 20, 2016 at 11:32 AM · Actually, I'm with Helen and have tried to tread lightly.

October 20, 2016 at 12:42 PM · It was remiss of me not to mention Frederick II (The Great), seeing that we played through one of his delightful little sinfonias a few weeks ago in an informal chamber ensemble I belong to. The CPE Bach Chamber Orchestra has recorded them (see Naxos Music Library).

I know a cellist who owns a cello with Frederick II's coat of arms on its back. Perhaps it was made for someone in the Court orchestra, if not actually for the King himself.

Taking a more bathetic standpoint, when Tony Blair became British PM my abiding memory is of a newspaper photo of him taking a guitar into Number 10. Whether the Rodrigo concerto ever got played on it is mere idle speculation.

October 20, 2016 at 12:58 PM · Thank you Carlo! But maybe Helen is right. Let's just say that as a violist myself, I prefer to choose my friends..

October 20, 2016 at 04:01 PM · My gosh, can't we take a joke? Or do we prefer the world to be made or eggshells?

October 21, 2016 at 01:59 PM · Well this interesting thread seems to have died. So much for free speech ...

October 21, 2016 at 01:59 PM · [duplicate post]

October 21, 2016 at 02:30 PM · Yes, English Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath was a musician. He liked conducting, and his social position allowed him access to the finest orchestras, which he would conduct.

His 1976 book, MUSIC A Joy for Life, contains a chapter on the art of conducting and those of you with access to this tome might be amused by the illustrations of "Conducting Movements" on pages 154-5; for example, number 8, illustrates "Precision from the woodwind".

October 21, 2016 at 02:50 PM · Politicians ARE musicians: 1) They want you to give them your undivided attention, 2) They want you to listen to to everything they present to you, 3) They won't shut up, and 4) They want your applause.

Cheers, Sandy

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