Puns for violinists

January 8, 2014 at 03:56 AM · That's the trouble with crossover performers: their music is filled with sax and violins.

Sign on a music school: "Out to lunch. Bach by 1:00. Offenbach sooner."

A piece to avoid playing if you're a drug-dealing violinist: "The Narc Ascending."

My violin teacher is always taking me down a peg or two.

Overpracticing the one-finger shift will make your finger bored.

I can't think of another one at the moment; I'll shift to a different subject.



Replies (41)

January 8, 2014 at 04:45 AM · Greetings,

sorry it's not a pun...

What's the best recording of the Walton viola concerto?

'Music Minus One.'



January 8, 2014 at 10:03 AM · Buri, that means not even violinists can play the viola properly!

January 8, 2014 at 07:30 PM · Yes, Offenbach sooner, but today I'm Bizet trying to get a game of Haydn Szigetti my young Neveu while his sister is Wagner 'ips. Try Rigoletto that one. The evening menu includes Rollmop Henryk Szering with Guarneri bread, Rite of Spring chicken, and Pear Gynt, but must be careful how you Handel it, otherwise it could Korsakov.

Actually, I MUST repeat one from the old BBC Home Service: "Old Archie got so pally with everyone he got nicknamed Pally Archie"; which leads to putting rust remover on the Rusticana. Will they need to Tallis another one, or are we going to get the Byrd for a lot of Bull? Coming out with all this, you must think I've got Klotz on the brain (AND you're quite Callas about it). Have to leave off for the moment, in case the Scots come south on a Fauré. Or worse, the Mods and Roccas.

It's YOUR fault, Sander, you Tertis to make these puns!

January 8, 2014 at 07:31 PM · Upon my word!

I'll get my coat.

January 8, 2014 at 07:35 PM · And is that one of the Albert, Tamara, or Eric Coates (And I'm doing this for free? I must be a Zuckerman!)?

January 8, 2014 at 08:24 PM · It doesn't translate well here, but Spike Jones' 13-minute send-up of Carmen really takes the cake.

The puns and other jokes slam along so fast, you have to concentrate to stay with it. Toward the end, the pace picks up and gets deep into groan territory!

Most of my puns are ad lib, so I'd have to sit down and run a mental scenario to add any of my own.

January 8, 2014 at 08:56 PM · Scrolling down, I seem to have opened up a can of worms (if you want the unvarnished truth). This is giving me all kinds of fits (low fits and high fits). I've had Rachmaninoff of this.

As the old song says,

"Shostakovich twilight,

When the lights are low..."

January 8, 2014 at 09:04 PM · Ok, ESL kid wants to try this with some accent. Be gentle! :)

I used to enjoy reading a Canadian Bar Association's publication called "BarTalk" and fixing other people's problems. Now I just like to knit myself cloches with g-clef cable because treble is my middle name.

January 8, 2014 at 09:56 PM · Hmmm. Your comments ring a Bela.

But enough. My wife and I have tickets tonight to see that musical about the famous painter, "Hello, Dali."

January 8, 2014 at 10:07 PM · It is not generally known, but some of the Bletchley Park stuff in the 2nd world war was done in a dingy spot known as Kodaly using a technique then known as Seibernetics. Most homeless have SOMETHING endearing, but every now and then you'll meet an oboe that's rotten to the cor. Talking of Brit & American English, you know about the fanatic for the separation of the two transport systems, who would have no truck with Laurie. Admit it, Sander, you're just Joachim and you want more of this, I'm not going to Bruch any more of your D- Niles!

January 8, 2014 at 10:17 PM · Thank you for dot comment (which only proves that you have written a sound post). After all, we don't want to be accused of writing only two-thirds of a pun (...P.U.).

January 8, 2014 at 11:18 PM · I laughed so hard I shift my pants.

January 8, 2014 at 11:28 PM · Yeah, it was a bit near the Bohm, wasn't it? Actually, I've just realized that some mobiles need to be recalled because they're vulnerable to SIMRock (Actually some of these might be good in a musicians' cryptic crossword).

January 9, 2014 at 12:00 AM · Q: Why couldn't Mozart find his teacher

A: Because he was Haydn

January 9, 2014 at 12:09 AM · You're taking the Michael!

January 9, 2014 at 04:28 AM · John,

you are getting Schneider an Schneider everyday,


PS Marty, the shift in pants is not usually classified as a Romantic shift

January 9, 2014 at 08:52 AM · If Hilary Hahn drops an h and then gets Schneider, what happens?

January 9, 2014 at 09:56 AM · I would faint.

January 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM · Name transformation:

Schoenberg Chamber Symphony

Schoenberg Chamber of Horrors Symphony

January 9, 2014 at 01:11 PM · Actually, Buri, I quite like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOL7o5d7JE0 .

January 9, 2014 at 08:39 PM · A toilet in a music school washroom was rather balky. The janitor, whose spelling wasn't quite perfect, affixed a sign reading "Push down hard on handel." Underneath someone wrote, "If I push hard, will it push Bach?" "No, silly," someone else added, "it plays Water Music!"

Many people have trouble spelling "voila", getting the second and third letters reversed. I like to chide them by re-writing their sentence, replacing the ending with "and viola, a large violin."

January 9, 2014 at 08:47 PM · From John Pierce:

It doesn't translate well here, but Spike Jones' 13-minute send-up of Carmen really takes the cake.

Speaking of Spike Jones, Homer & Jethro teamed up with him to perform "Pal Yat Chee", their send-up of Pagliacci, with lines like "Invest in a tuba, an' somthin' or other 'bout Cuba".

January 10, 2014 at 03:11 AM · A few off the top of my head (more like riddles than puns, but whatever). . . .

What happens if our bow slips when we go to play sul ponticello?

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Does it affect the sound if you don't hold your violin up high enough?

(Scroll down for answer.)

Why did the violinist prepare Mozart #5 for every audition?

Because all the repertoire lists said "A major concerto."

If you liked these, I'll take a bow.

January 10, 2014 at 04:25 AM · so far no mention of violin teachers charging by the Auer...

January 10, 2014 at 02:12 PM · These puns are too much. I don't know if I can Handel any more.

January 10, 2014 at 03:11 PM · Pal-Yat-Chee crossed my mind, but I Dont want to be Messiaen up this thread.

January 10, 2014 at 04:18 PM · Eric, to paraphrase Tom Stoppard: We'll cross that bridge when we come to it and burn it behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered, AND ONE LESS VIOLA IN THE WORLD TO BURN.

January 12, 2014 at 09:04 PM · This is too much. I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon watching my local telly. I think they're showing "Gunfight at the OK Corelli." Or maybe "A Fugueood Men." Or maybe "2001 measures from letter B." Or maybe "The Wolftone Man."

January 13, 2014 at 02:17 PM · Or that famous performance of Symphony Fantastique by just upper strings ("Gone With The Wind")

January 13, 2014 at 03:10 PM · Then there are the ones about fishing for notes in the Schubert Trout Quintet, the difficult scales, and that it includes bass.There are several others which I can't recall. True fact though: Tobias Picker composed a piece with the same instrumentation and decided to name it after his favorite fish, Nova.

January 13, 2014 at 05:10 PM · First name: Nova

Last Name: Lox

Also one of my favorites!

January 14, 2014 at 03:15 PM · How about that TV series casting John Wayne as Adrian Heath: How The Rest Was Won.

January 14, 2014 at 09:15 PM · Peter Schickele, in his studies of the apocryphal P.D.Q. Bach, dug up what he calls the Dutch Suite, which is played entirely on bass-clef instruments because they're below (middle) C level.

January 15, 2014 at 03:25 PM · Charlie, did any of these instruments have dead sea scrolls?

January 15, 2014 at 05:02 PM · I bow to all the master punners.

January 15, 2014 at 05:21 PM · Yeah, you can really get hooked on the Trout Quintet. I'd gill to be able to play it. But you really have to be well-practiced in your scales. (I'm just fishing for compliments, so wave if you've heard these)

January 15, 2014 at 06:07 PM · Unfortunately Albert Sammons left the London String Quartet some seven years before they recorded it. And the vegetarian version of the oil failed because Primrose didn't join until after; and, of course Albert HERRING was far too late. Still, look out for the rainbow ("Rainbow trout" is actually a species of salmon). And if you go back two or three hundred years you might or might not come across the Bull Trout.

Will somebody be Curzon us for our atrocities?

And if you're doing the Trout, you need to include three flutes for the Hook (or arrange it for violin, viola and cello).

January 17, 2014 at 03:48 PM · Before this daft discussion terminates I'll add to its daftness by quoting a Latin haiku I composed some years ago:

Tibia planget

Virgo tympanum pulsat

Bibet fidicen

This should resonate with anyone who has been to more than one folk session!

January 18, 2014 at 08:38 AM · I thought it said Prunes for violinists!

January 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM · I thought it said punt a viola. But I wanted to pass on that.

January 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM · You admit to owning a VIOLA? Perhaps you'd better prune your last entry.

I don't remember punts figuring in Twelfth Night, punting in Albania, what a thought!

Or maybe you're standing on the bridge and using the bow for a pole (Actually, putting myself in the position of the punter, I can see there's no way this system would work on a punt-sized viola; you need to stand either on or by the scroll or the tail-piece) ... How do they get the water out when it comes in over an F-hole?

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