viola jokes

December 28, 2005 at 07:58 AM · starting a viola joke thread here's the first one:

Q: What's the difference between a violin and a viola?

A: A viola burns longer

Replies (99)

December 28, 2005 at 08:15 AM · what is this the 100th time

December 29, 2005 at 09:21 AM ·

This is a mean one: ... : )

What do you call a Viola section in a hot tub?

Vegetable soup.

December 29, 2005 at 09:06 PM · Some original ones from a forum thread on 'intervals' -

minor second - viola section tuning up

major seventh - violist checking C string with cellist in SQ

augmented seventh - adding a dead violist at the back to make up the numbers

diminished octave - well, have you ever heard a violist play octaves in tune?

December 29, 2005 at 10:40 PM · PLENTY of them here:

One of my favorite "viola jokes," however, was in real life. We were rehearsing something-or-other, and the conductor said, as conductors so often do, "Let me just hear the violas right there." So they played, and somebody was totally playing wrong notes. So he had them play it again and it sounded no better. The conductor got this "oh-dear-what's-a-tactful-way-to-say-this" expression on his face, but he was saved the effort when suddenly the ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL violist gasped and said "oh! Wrong string! Whoops!"

As soon as the conductor got over the sheer enormity of what had just happened, he had the section play again and everything sounded just fine.

I am not making this up.

December 30, 2005 at 12:20 AM · Nevermind the fact I've recently taken to playing the viola.

q. How are a violist's fingers like lightning?

a. They never strike twice in the same place.

December 30, 2005 at 12:57 AM · I hate to say it Kimberly, but I thought that was a violin joke.

December 30, 2005 at 01:25 AM · I think Kate's was hilarious. The meaner the funnier.

December 30, 2005 at 03:29 AM · But Charlie, it has such a nice ring to it when replaced with viola.


December 30, 2005 at 05:54 AM · True story:

I tried to buy a sonata book at a used bookstore, but the violin score was missing. I thought I would bring this to the attention of the sales clerk, so I showed her the piano score and mentioned that the violin part was gone. "No," she said, "See, the violin part is right there, above the piano part."

"No, that's the score, so that the pianist can follow along. The violin has its own part, with fingerings and bowings..."

"No, look right here, that's the violin part, trust me."

"I know that the violin's part is written above the piano's music, but there's also a different part, a separate book..."

We went back and forth like this for some time before I finally asked her, "Do you play a musical instrument?"

(yeah, you know the rest of the story.)

December 30, 2005 at 05:19 PM · I love it Emily! That was hilarious!

December 30, 2005 at 07:16 PM · you come to a fork in the road and don't know which way to go. you see the easter bunny, a good violist, and a bad violist. who do you ask for directions?

the bad violist. the other two are figments of your imagination.

December 31, 2005 at 12:50 AM · Q) If there is a violist and a conductor standing in the middle of the road, who do you run over first?

A) The conductor. Business before pleasure.

December 31, 2005 at 01:32 AM · that was great zak.

December 31, 2005 at 06:20 PM · This guy is on a safari. As they bed down for the night he hears rumbling and pounding noises not too far away. He anxiously asks the guide, "what's that?" The guide says, "don't worry, those are just jungle drums. If they keep playing everything is fine; however,if they stop, it is very bad." The guy says, "what happens if they stop?" The guide says, "oh, a viola solo."

January 1, 2006 at 07:34 PM · HAHAHAHAHAHA

January 1, 2006 at 07:50 PM · Oooh I have a bunch. No offense intended!

What's the latest crime wave in New York City?

Drive-by viola recitals.

When "Oetzi," the famous glacier-mummy, was found in the Alps, archeologists and anthropologists were mystified by the riddle of "Oetzi's" nature, the chief question being: "How did he get under the ice-fields?" Thanks to a joint venture operation by leading music-anthropologists the mystery has found its solution: "Oetzi" must have been a violist. How else could the glacier have caught up with him?

A group of terrorists hijacked a plane full of violists. They called down to ground control with their list of demands and added that if their demands weren't met, they would release one violist every hour.

A violist and a 'cellist were standing on a sinking ship. "Help!" cried the 'cellist, "I can't swim!"

"Don't worry," said the violist, "just fake it."

At a rehearsal, the conductor stops and shouts to the bass section: "You are out of tune. Check it, please!"

The first bassist pulls all his strings, says, "Our tuning is correct: all the strings are equally tight."

The first violist turns around and shouts, "You bloody idiot! It's not the tension. The pegs have to be parallel!"

Why can't you hear a viola on a digital recording?

Recording technology has reached such an advanced level of development that all extraneous noise is eliminated.

clef: something to jump from before the viola solo

What's the difference between a washing machine and a violist?


Why do violists stand for long periods outside people's houses?

They can't find the key and they don't know when to come in.

I know this isn't really a viola joke, but I like it!

A first violinist, a second violinist, a virtuoso violist, and a bass player are at the four corners of a football field. At the signal, someone drops a 100 dollar bill in the middle of the field and they run to grab it. Who gets it?

The second violinist, because:

1.No first violinist is going anywhere for only 100 dollars.

2.There's no such thing as a virtuoso violist.

3.The bass player hasn't figured out what it's all about.

i think these are mainly from this site:

January 1, 2006 at 11:18 PM · How many violists does it take to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies?

Ten. One to stir the batter and nine to peel the M & M's

January 1, 2006 at 11:24 PM · Maestro (to Horns): "Give us the F in tune!"

Violist (to Maestro): "Please can we have the F-in' tune too?"

Orchestra Personnel Standards


-Leaps tall buildings in a single bound.

-Is more powerful than a locomotive.

-Is faster than a speeding bullet.

-Walks on water.

-settles all arguments, words are final


-Leaps short buildings in a single bound.

-Is more powerful than a switch engine.

-Is just as fast as a speeding bullet.

-Walks on water if sea is calm.

-reports arguments to conductor


-Runs into buildings.

-Recognizes locomotives two times out of three.

-Is not issued any ammunition, wets self with water pistol

-Can stay afloat with a life jacket.

-Talks to walls, argues with self,loses

January 3, 2006 at 01:24 AM · Ive had it with viola player bashing. Lets be nice. In fact, screw you guys, im off to

January 3, 2006 at 01:39 AM · John, you may want to visit, first. Their insightful home page is enlightening violists everywhere as to the proper tuning for their strings.

January 3, 2006 at 01:33 AM · Ok, Ive had enough fun there now. Im BACK!

Once there was a violist playing in the Winnipeg Symphony. He wasn't that wonderful a player, so he sat at the back of the section. One day he was cleaning out his attic and discovered an old lamp. He gave it a rub and out popped a genie.

"For letting me out of my lamp I'll grant you three wishes!" he said.

The violist thought for a moment and replied, "Make me a far better musician than I am now."

The genie told him that this would be done. He was to go to sleep, and in the morning he would be a much better musician. The next day he woke up to find himself the principal violist of the Symphony. Well, this was just great, he thought! But he knew he could do better. He rubbed the lamp again, and out popped the genie.

"You have two more wishes!" he said.

"I want you to make me a better musician than I am even now!"

Once again, the genie told him to go to bed, and when he woke up it would be so. When the violist awoke, he found he was now the principal violist of the Berlin Philharmonic. Well, the violist thought this was pretty grand, but knew he could do better yet. He rubbed on the lamp again, and once more out came the genie.

"This is your last wish." the genie said.

"I want you to make me yet a better musician still!"

Yet again, he was told to go to sleep. The next morning, he woke up to find himself back in Winnipeg, sitting in the last desk of the second violin section.


What's the difference between a viola and an onion?

No one cries when you cut up a viola.

What is the main reqirement at the "International Viola Competition?"

Hold the viola from memory.

OK, heres another

In order to save money, the musicians decided to build their Union Hall themselves. As they proceeded to do the job, gradually the hierarchy of the musicians was reflected in the jobs that they did. The violists found themselves at the bottom of a ditch doing the nastiest of the digging. Above them, supervising, was a trumpet player. One violist turned to another and asked, "How come we're working down here and he's working up there?"

The other responded, "I don't know, but I'll go up there and ask."

The violist crawled up to the top of the ditch. "Why are we down there digging while you're up here supervising?" the violist asked the trumpeter.

"Because I'm smarter than you," was the reply.

"Huh, I don't understand," the confused violist said.

"Allow me to demonstrate," said the trumpeter. He walked up to the nearest tree, put out his open hand in front of the tree and said to the violist, "Hit my hand!"

The violist reared back with his fist and shot a punch at the trumpeter's open hand. At the last instant, the trumpeter moved his hand out of the way so that the violist's fist went slamming into the tree.

"OW!," cried the violist, "I see what you mean." He then returned to the ditch and his friend waiting below.

"Well," said the other violist, "did you find out why he's up there and we're down here?"

"Yes," said the violist, whose hand was still throbbing, "it's because he's smarter than us."

"I don't understand," said his friend.

"Let me explain it to you," said the violist. He then took his open hand and placed it in front of his own face.

"Now," he said, "hit my hand with your shovel!"

A noted bon vivant and comic was recently flying to Berlin. He decided to strike up a conversation with his seat mate.

"I've got a great violist joke. Would you like to hear it?"

"I should let you know first that I am a violist".

"That's OK. I'll tell it real slow!"

curtesy of

January 3, 2006 at 01:49 AM · YAAA HAAA kicks ass!! HEHE

Im gonna get me a viola t-shirt, im gonna be the coolest kid on the block. Oh crap they are sold out!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAAAAAAAA

January 3, 2006 at 03:00 AM · I love that peculiar quote and the clause, "with appropriate loudness/softness." Ohhh, loud and soft? No wonder Bach was so brilliant.

Did you notice all two of the viola pioneers?

January 4, 2006 at 10:33 AM · Nah, I was too busy clicking the 'clear history' button - I dont want to be embarrased by the websites ive visited...

January 4, 2006 at 11:09 AM · Watch out, you may have contracted a virus after visiting those shady sites. You'll know it if you get obnoxious pop-ups of crude and nasty violas.

January 4, 2006 at 08:04 PM · Emily, I know what you mean! I started getting "Enlarge your violin now!" spam emails after visiting some of those sites...

January 4, 2006 at 11:22 PM · Wow. That's a good one.

January 5, 2006 at 12:53 AM · Haha

January 5, 2006 at 03:49 AM · LMAO!! thats funny larry

A violist in an orchestra was crying and screaming at the oboe player sitting directly behind him. The conductor asked, "What are you so upset about?"

The violist replied "The oboist reached over and turned one of the pegs on my viola and now it's all out of tune!"

The conductor asked "Don't you think you're overreacting?"

The violist replied "I'm not overreacting! He won't tell me which one!

January 5, 2006 at 06:42 PM · A violist went to the store to get some items and absentmindedly left his valuable (supposedly :)) viola in the car with the door unlocked. When he went back to his car it was full of violas !

January 5, 2006 at 08:54 PM · Here's two of my favorites...

What do you do when a violist comes to your door?

Pay him for the pizza.

Why do violists keep their cases on the dashboard of their cars?

So they can park in the handicapped spaces.

January 7, 2006 at 07:55 AM · Mmm, Michael, that second joke is a classic.

January 7, 2006 at 03:53 PM · An oldie but a goodie:

What does a violist use for birth control?

Her (or his) personality.

January 7, 2006 at 04:58 PM · How many violists does it take to change a light bulb?

1. They haven't figured that out yet.

2. Three: One to look up which direction to turn it, one to turn it, and the third to write up the union contract.

3. None -- violists are always in the dark.

4. One -- It's easy (as long as it has nothing to do with music).

January 8, 2006 at 07:16 PM · What's the difference between a violin and a viola?

There is no difference. The violin just looks smaller because the violinist's head is so much bigger.


January 8, 2006 at 08:20 PM · why does a viola burn longer than a violin?

It's usually still in it's case.

January 8, 2006 at 09:03 PM · Why are there so few viola jokes, and everybody is always repeating the same ones?

Because violinists can't think up any more.

January 8, 2006 at 09:32 PM · I posted some jokes on the below thread that are too long to repeat.

January 8, 2006 at 11:50 PM · How do you prevent a violin from being stolen? Put it in a viola case.

January 9, 2006 at 02:33 AM · What's the difference between a viola and a coffin?

With the viola the dead person is outside the wooden box!

January 9, 2006 at 04:05 AM · What is the difference between a dead chicken in the road and a dead violist? The dead chicken has skid marks in front of it.

January 10, 2006 at 12:23 PM · Samuel, I think that joke would make more sense if you said "in a coffin the dead person is inside the wooden box"..... :)

January 10, 2006 at 08:27 PM · How many violinists does it take to tell viola jokes?


January 10, 2006 at 11:48 PM · How many viola players does it take to change a lightbulb?

None - they cant get up that high


January 10, 2006 at 11:54 PM · Doctor, doctor, I think im turning into a viola - Oh, stop grumbling

January 11, 2006 at 07:59 PM · How many violists does it take to change a light bulb?

Violist: "What's a light blub?"

Violinist: "What's a violist?"

January 23, 2006 at 08:04 PM · I am reviving this post too. :)

January 23, 2006 at 08:33 PM · Someone's got a witty signature on their forum profile:

Confucius say, every journey begins with a single step.

Andrew say, every viola solo begins with a single wrong note.

I love that!

January 24, 2006 at 02:45 AM · what is the difference between first seat and last in the viola section?







about a semitone and a tempo


January 25, 2006 at 08:37 PM · What do they call violists who practice the rhythm method?.......


June 20, 2009 at 12:43 PM ·

In the viola part of the last movement of K.498, why did Mozart write the same chord four times?

So violists would get it right on the fifth.

June 20, 2009 at 01:07 PM ·

Q.  How many violists does it take to change a lightbulb?




A.  None, they're used to being kept in the dark.

June 20, 2009 at 03:51 PM ·

Just outside the stage entrance of a major orchestra I saw a dumpster that had a sign painted on it: "Viola Dump."

June 20, 2009 at 07:01 PM ·

Ray, enlighten me...I don't get it

June 21, 2009 at 02:47 AM ·

Sam ... there's a waste management company called Viola.  They have their name plastered on dumpsters all over the place.  At least they do in Chicago.  Hence ... the joke.

June 21, 2009 at 03:07 AM ·

as Ralph Kramden would say..."Har har, hardee har har"!

July 22, 2012 at 09:26 PM · There was once this ad in a newspaper:

"Internationally active string quartet is recruiting two violinists and one cellist"

July 23, 2012 at 06:31 AM · Since you resurrected this thread, I might as well add my personal favorite:

Q: Why is a viola bigger than a violin?

A: Because it's easier to use as a shield when the audience hurls tomatoes.


July 23, 2012 at 06:36 AM · Haha! Gene!

July 23, 2012 at 04:05 PM · My all-time favorite: What separates the violists from the great apes? The seconds.

July 23, 2012 at 04:28 PM · Unless they sit on the immediate right of the conductor, so then it might often be the cellos ...

July 23, 2012 at 11:40 PM · My favourite.

How do you get a violist to play tremolando?

Mark it pp solo.

July 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM ·

July 24, 2012 at 03:51 AM · When do you know that you've found a violinist who would be better suited to being a violist?

They actually think viola jokes are funny.

July 24, 2012 at 03:58 AM · My personal favorites... a little inappropriate but very funny:

What's the difference between a violist and a prostitute?

The prostitute knows more than two positions


The prostitute has a better sense of rhythm

Why do violists get antsy when reading "The Kama Sutra"?

All those positions!

A violist was crying during an orchestra rehearsal and screaming at the oboist sitting next to him. The conductor asked what the problem was.

The violist wailed, "He just reached over and loosened one of my pegs, and now it's all out of tune!"

The conductor replied, "Don't you think you're overreacting?"

Said the violist, "I'm not overreacting... the problem is that he won't tell me which one!"

My dad has also just recently discovered the viola joke (despite the fact that I've been playing it for two years). Most of his jokes involve people stealing my case from the car, only to put it back when they realize that it's a viola...

July 25, 2012 at 03:18 AM · Why do violists stand for long periods outside people’s houses?

They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.

July 25, 2012 at 09:39 AM · Listening to a violist playing a viola.

July 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM · How many viola jokes can be scraped out of the bottom of a barrel?

July 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM · How many viola jokes can be scraped out of the bottom of a barrel?

Just one more...

July 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Top marks, John.

July 25, 2012 at 03:40 PM · I am laughing so hard right now!! These made my day :)

July 28, 2012 at 07:31 PM · Why is a viola solo like peeing in your pants?

Both are quiet and very embarrassing!

Cheers Carlo

August 8, 2012 at 01:51 PM · What do you call someone who likes to hang around with musicians?

A violist!

August 8, 2012 at 02:07 PM · Adrian - a response:

"what do you call someone who likes to hang out with non-musicians?"

A violist.

[disclaimer to my violist friends - I really don't believe any of this and plese do substitute 'violinist']

August 8, 2012 at 02:08 PM · Here's one I think I just made up:

Whats the difference between a violinist and a violist?

There's nothing in the latter.

.... kaboom...

August 8, 2012 at 04:01 PM · I get a phone call yesterday morning from a dear international client who owns one of my violas they commissioned recently.

"HOW DO I GET THE SPIDER OUT OF THE VIOLA!?", "Wha.. What! Are you kidding me? There is a spider inside?"


I kid you not my response. "Play Harder??"

Sorry Kids. I dont have any luthier tricks for getting spiders out of instruments. But it made for the best phone call of my life.

August 10, 2012 at 08:55 PM · A couple of classics:

How are violists' finders similar to lightning?

Neither strike twice in the same place.

OK, a long one:

A section violist, on the way home from a community orchestra rehearsal, noticed a glint in the gutter. He pulled over to see what it was, and found a genie's lamp. Upon arriving home with the lamp, he rubbed it and out popped a genie.

"You have 3 wishes" stated the genie. What would you like? Riches? Fame? Women?"

The violist replied: "I'd like to be a better violist"

Poof! And the genie disappeared into the lamp.

At the next community orchestra, the violist found himself 2nd chair and was pretty excited. After the rehearsal that night, he sped home and rubbed the genie lamp again. Out popped the genie.

"You have 2 wishes left" stated the genie. What would you like? Riches? Fame? Women?"

"I'd like to be a better violist"

At the next rehearsal, he found himself principal viola. This was incredibly exciting! Again, he sped home after rehearsal to rub the lamp.

"You have 1 remaining wish" stated the genie. What would you like? Riches? Fame? Women?"

"I'd like to be a better violist"

At the next rehearsal, he found himself last chair second violin.

August 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM · how many violists does it take to eat a possum?

answer: two - one to eat it and one to watch for cars.

August 11, 2012 at 04:12 AM · Why don't viola players get piles?

Because all the a***holes are in the violin section!

August 12, 2012 at 01:49 PM · What do they do when a violist dies?

Move him/her back a row.

August 12, 2012 at 09:28 PM · An armed masked man went into a bank and said "don't touch the alarm, just hand over the money".

The bank teller said "my daughter's learning viola, can you give any advice about how to get her into college?".

The bank robber, surprised, asked "how did you know I was a viola player?".

"Because you've sawn off the wrong end of the shot gun" replied the teller.

August 13, 2012 at 07:44 PM · Q: What separates the violists from the animals?

A: The second violins.

August 13, 2012 at 08:08 PM · Why are viola jokes short?

- For violinists can understand


What is the difference between a lawnmower and a viola?

- If absolutely necessary, you can use the mower in a string quartet.

Why many people acquire instant dislike to the viola?

- Save time.

Why do people tremble with fear when someone enters a bank with a violin case under his arm?

- People think he carries a gun and can use it.

Why do people tremble with fear when someone enters a bank with a case of Viola under her arm?

- People think he carries a Viola and can use it.

September 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM · @Andre

Oh come on! I wanted to post the last two!!!


How's a violin like a vampire?

 1) They sleep in cases

 How's a violin like a vampire?

 2) They leave marks on your neck

 How's a violin like a vampire?

 3) They melt in direct sunlight.....

I play violin but... meh!


September 12, 2012 at 04:02 AM · My all time favorite is:

Why is the viola called bratsche in German?

Because that's the noise it makes when you sit on it (or step on it).

My middle school students in 2008 found it especially funny since one of them had broken an instrument the previous year by sitting on it by accident.

September 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM · @Jessie that's one thing I don't want to happen on me...

September 13, 2012 at 01:31 AM · Here's a great viola joke I heard from a violist.

Sgfne ntek swe sd-0 asdmo sdnfljik

nk;lm cvd oeqwio l

njckds lknf ..asd ioewhu; hfo['a jdfpo/.

jnkldf werlkfn vspo?


(It sounded better when he told it, even if it is in all the wrong keys....)

September 28, 2012 at 08:23 AM · This on FB this morning (for real):

A question from the 'Are you smarter than a 5th Grader' game on my iPad:

Which of the following instruments is a member of the percussion family?

a) bassoon

b) guitar

c) xylophone

d) viola

4/7 people answered 'viola'....

March 13, 2013 at 08:59 PM · Ed's wants son to learn the viola so Ed pays for him to take lessons. The first day he comes home and Ed asks him "How did it go". "Just great" replies son, "we learned how to play four notes on the fourth string". Great says dear dad.

The next week he has his second lesson and Ed asks him "How did it go". "Terrific" replies son, "we learned how to play four notes on the third string". Excellent says dear dad.

The next week he has his third lesson and Ed asks him "How was it". "Wonderful" replies the son, "we learned how to play four notes on the second string". "Good progress", says dad.

The following week son has his fourth lesson and Ed asks him "what did you learn"? "Oh nothing," replies son, "I didn't go to the lesson, I had a gig in a quartet"....

March 13, 2013 at 09:26 PM · One day, at rehearsal, the conductor had a massive heart attack. It was announced that he would miss the rest of the season. The management decided to use an orchestra member to save money, and decided on the last chair violist, as he was the most dispensable.

To everyone's surprise, the violist performed remarkably. Critics gave him rave reviews, attendance swelled with each performance as word spread, and the orchestra was astounded at what talent had been hidden at the back of the orchestra.

Alas, the last chair violist finished the season and the conductor recovered over the summer. At the first rehearsal of the new season, the modest violist returned to last chair, happy to help out, but glad to be where he belonged. When his stand partner saw him, the first thing he said was, 'Where the heck have you been? You missed half the concerts last season!'

March 14, 2013 at 01:05 PM · There was this family of string players who fell on hard times. The four siblings were all female, two violins a cello and a viola.

So the father said to them that their string quartet busking had brought in very little moeny, so unfortunately they would have to go down to the red light distict, Soho, and earn money as women from the oldest profession have done for centuries.

This they do, and having all arived back home, the father asked how much they had made. Both fiddlers had made £60 each with 3 clients. The cellist £30 from two.

The father asked the viola player - and she said she had made £10.10 pence. Good said the father, but who gave you the ten pence?

They all did, she replied ...

March 14, 2013 at 03:55 PM · having recently acquired a chin-cello - and loving it - i feel compelled to say "nyah-nyah-na-nyah-nyah ..."

viola players get down - they have longer reach ... they don't fiddle around.

March 14, 2013 at 04:19 PM · "they have a longer reach."

And they have reached the end of the road. But if a conductor is lying also at the end of the road, then one must run over the conductor. Business before pleasure ...

March 14, 2013 at 07:38 PM · I took my viola to a bluegrass jam the other night. Bluegrassers are a pretty conservative bunch, but I think they were too stunned to lynch me. They asked me to imitate a train whistle, but I gave them a ferryboat horn instead.

March 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM · New viola joke, I hope, definition of minimalism: a musical style in which everyone plays a viola part.

March 19, 2013 at 04:48 AM · What do you call the cadenza in a viola concerto?


March 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM · minimalism: a musical style in which everyone plays a viola part.

serialism: a viola section playing a major scale in unison.

March 20, 2013 at 02:56 PM · I have to confess that I am myself the ultimate in viola jokes.

Symphony Orchestra viola sections are stuffed with failed violinists.

I was a viola player FORCED by circumstances to change to violin to earn a living in various orchestras.

My standard of my fiddle playing was probably a joke to some colleagues, but ha ha, I survived and drew a pension.

Fight back, viola players!

March 20, 2013 at 05:06 PM · I guess we should have been worried by a violist spy in the violin section, David. But OTOH....


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