Funniest music scenes in the movies

Edited: November 1, 2020, 9:42 AM · Humour is more important then ever to assist us in living through these difficult times. Let’s hear what you believe are the funniest music scenes in the movies, so hopefully we can watch (or re-watch) them and laugh.

Let me start by suggesting that Woody Allen playing the cello in the marching band scene in “Take the Money and Run” is one of the funniest music scenes I can remember. In honour of Sandy Marcus’ limerick thread going on concurrently on violinist.com, here’s a limerick about that Woody Allen scene:

Woody Allen’s marching band scene in “Take the Money and Run”
Is absolutely bizarre, hilarious and so much fun!
A cello being played in a marching band?
If you’ve seen something crazier, raise your hand.
Woody Allen’s comical genius stands out, second to none.

Let us hear what you think are the funniest music scenes in the movies (and if you have any limericks, no need to post them here but rather add them to Sandy’s limerick thread).


Replies (18)

November 1, 2020, 8:20 AM · Love it.
Thanks for the plug.
Sandy
Edited: November 1, 2020, 9:51 AM · Marx Brothers. Possibly "Monkey Business" is the one with Harpo and Chico giving phenomenal performances, and of course, very funny at the same time.
November 1, 2020, 10:53 AM · The film "Raising the Wind" has a scene at the end of a student conducting a professional orchestra ( the Sinfonia of London) with members of the orchestra asking silly questions - as I've seen happen to incompetent people who try to throw their weight about.
I remember once we had a duff conductor who tried telling a professional orchestra how to do it.
Our principal viola announced (loudly) "If this silly b***er doesn't shut up, I'm going to play on his bl***y beat".
November 1, 2020, 1:02 PM · marx bros night at the opera. The entire performance of “il trovatore” . Nothing comes close
November 1, 2020, 7:35 PM · Chico and Harpo have some excellent solo work in Night at the Opera.

It doesn't quite count as a music scene, but one of the central figures in "Young Doctors in Love" ends up learning the cello and makes an unorthodox career switch.

Tom & Jerry and Bugs Bunny had their share of good scenes playing Liszt and other useful warhorses.

November 1, 2020, 9:38 PM · this
November 2, 2020, 2:02 AM · This is interesting. It's not especially focused on the comical, but Marin Alsop brings out the 'oddity' in much of the cinema's presentation of music when it moves from background to the screen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2z9zFBcZKU

November 2, 2020, 9:26 PM · "Marco Brancalion
November 1, 2020, 9:38 PM · this"

I don't know how it happened - maybe an unintentional touch on the screen - but instead of that Laurel & Hardy link, I wound up on a massive ad for Slash posing as a documentary, hanging on, waiting to find out why it was linked or where it might get funny, until giving up, quite far into it, because I will go far for a joke. Thankfully I realize afterwards that that itself was funny.

November 3, 2020, 4:00 AM · Marx Brothers piano duet - not sure which film it was in, so may be covered above.

Audio only, but the Hoffnung Music Festivals used to be available on CD. Some of the tracks are hilarious, and they include Dennis Brain playing a hosepipe and a 'composite' piano concerto.

November 3, 2020, 6:36 AM · While Peter is on audio funnies, It's worth mentioning that Fritz Spiegel and team were doing humorous concerts before Hoffnung's started, and contemporaneiously with them, and the two groups are comparable. I have a 45 with Eine kleine beatlemusic on one side, and Barock and Roll ensemble (on the Bayreth Beat by Val Kyrie and the Rheinmaidens) on the other. Malolm Arnold composed for Hoffnung, and Gordon Jacob composed for Spiegl.
November 3, 2020, 3:08 PM · Does anyone remember a movie with levitating orchestra musicians during a concert? I think they were playing Beethoven.
November 4, 2020, 9:41 AM · The Piano! (just kidding!)
November 4, 2020, 12:00 PM · I think it was in Shine where the teacher says something to the student about how if she had her way, students would only play scales for the first ten years and no music at all until then! I'm not sending my kid to that teacher!
November 4, 2020, 12:19 PM · I had a roommate who had more or less that with a teacher at Tanglewood. A Soviet-trained violist, who put him on pretty much nothing but C-Major scales. This while his chamber group was trying to get their arms around Webern.
November 4, 2020, 12:27 PM ·
November 5, 2020, 10:34 AM · Of course the party scene in Amadeus when Mozart plays "our little tune" in the style of several composers, including Salieri.

The Czardas "duel" scene in Unfaithfully Yours

November 5, 2020, 1:34 PM · Depends on your (or my) sense of humor. While tragic, it is also funny to see the actors cast to play the part of string players who simply don't have a clue about how to actually play the instrument.

Bow flying while the music is slow, or long slow bow strokes while the music is fast staccato, fingers high or low on the fingerboard when the music is in the opposite register...

Back in the day of many actors mentioned, they were actual musicians in their own right, and many darned good to be playing comedic roles and playing music at the same time.

You would think that producers and directors could hire actual musicians for their movies but,... In the end it is funny to see the actor sawing away against a legato passage. Funnier stil that most of the audience think that's the way the instrument is played.

November 6, 2020, 10:49 AM · My father and I saw a production of Brecht's Schweyk in the Second World War, in which, interspersed with the actions of the common characters on stage, are filmed sequences involving "Hitler" and his chronies. The music for the play was composed by Hans Eisler, rather than Kurt Weill; music for the film scenes was mainly twelve tone (Eisler had studied with Schoenberg) - except for when Hitler askes his generals, "How does the little man see me?". The music that introduced their answers had both of us in creases: the beginning of the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde! (One knowledgeable(?) critique described Eisler's incidental music as "Wagnerian"). Brecht's scripted reply seemed to me to be a bit of an anticlimax ("He loves you like his own wife").

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