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Topic: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

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  1. #11

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Barrie,

    Let's not keep it too serious here. Learning can be enjoyable as well as disciplined.

    Gary Garritan
    Yes Gary,

    but nobody wants a viola joke thread do they?

    BB

  2. #12
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    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by BarrieB
    Yes Gary,

    but nobody wants a viola joke thread do they?

    BB
    I think they do

  3. #13

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    I think they do
    I'm with Gary on this, decisively so.

    Viola jokes are a necessary staple of musical existence.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  4. #14

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    OK then, we'll start nice... (join in if you know them..) and look away if you are of a sensitive disposition.

    One orchestral musician to another at the bar after concert, "Hey, do you want to hear a great viola joke?" "Excuse me," says the second "but I happen to BE a viola player!" "That's OK, I'll tell it REALLY SLOWLY!"

    What's the difference between a viola and an onion? Nobody cries when you cut up a viola...

    (You must have heard that one..)

    Leaving the orchestra rehearsal you're driving across the car park and see the conductor and a viola player - which to run over first?
    The conductor obviously.
    Business before Pleasure...

    (I would remind everyone that not only did I play both violin and viola at various times in orchestras, but I still own one of each... so there!)

    Oh, just one more then.. A viola player (we don't have 'violists' in the UK) came home to find his house burned to the ground. The police told him, "Well, it appears that the conductor came around to your house and well..er.."
    The viola player's eyes lit up and he said excitedly " The conductor? Came round to MY house..?

    Go on then everybody- do your worst...

    BB

  5. #15

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    Come on everyone. or I'll DO THEM ALL!!

    We all know that violists don't understand long Italian words, so how do you get a viola section to play 'tremolando'?

    Write 'solo' over the stave..

    (Reminds me of my favourite guitar joke - How do you get a guitarist to turn his amplifier down? Put some music in front of him....)

    COME ON, d'ya really want me to do them all?

    Barrie Bignold, appearing in cabaret at NSS!! Ta Da!!

  6. #16

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    You're doing fine, Barrie.

    I wouldn't think of interrupting a Master at work... lol.

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  7. #17

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    David, you could at least do a little vaudeville vamp on that tack piano (I know you've got one) to give me a little atmosphere..

    "I say, I say..have you heard the one about...."

  8. #18

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    Not a viola joke, but hey: a comment I overheard from the leader of an orchestra I played with a few years back (I was playing double bass):

    "Bloody bass players - they're like a cross between a musician and a drummer."

    Another story I heard about a prominent orchestra: the leader of the orchestra was retiring after many years of long service under the same principal conductor. Several candidates for a replacement were auditioned by playing in the leader's seat during rehearsal while the outgoing leader observed them. Discussing the candidates with the conductor afterwards, one stood out above the rest. "Yes," said the conductor "but how do you think he would cope with a bad conductor?". Approaching the end of their professional relationship and with nothing to lose the outgoing leader replied: "I think he did very well!".



  9. #19

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by benhillyard

    "Bloody bass players - they're like a cross between a musician and a drummer."
    )
    Damned with faint praise!

    I did once see a sign put up on a theatre band room door:
    'MUSICIANS........and drummer'

  10. #20

    Re: Seating Positions of the Orchestra

    On the subject of seating positions and violas, I've been watching the BBC Proms recently and in one concert the strings were arranged (from left to right): Vln 1, Vln 2, Cellos, Violas with double basses behind the violas (ie. with the violas on the outside, at the front of the stage). I've never seen this arrangement before and was wondering if anyone had any light to shed on why it might be used?

    Many of the orchestras I saw in the series (maybe half) were using the 'old' Vln1, Vla, Cello, Vln2 arrangement. One little snippet of information that came out of the programs was that the current standard Vln1, Vln2, Vla, Cello arrangment was an innovation in the 30s by Sir Thomas Beecham to accomodate the limitations of early microphones in radio broadcasts.

    I guess that in terms of stereo balance the old arrangement makes more sense, in that the the bass and treble instruments are spread more evenly left and right. With the current situation, all the bass instruments are lumped together on right-hand side as you're looking at the stage from the audience.

    Ben

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