17 questions normal people have for classical musicians
28 October 2015, 17:16
Clapping, money, the word 'bravo'... none of this stuff makes any sense. Classical musicians of the world, normal people have some very important questions for you.
1. Is it necessary for us to clap for this long?
I enjoyed your concert, but come on. This is taking forever and my train's about to leave. Oh, you're back for another round of applause? Fine. I'm leaving.
2. Why don't you shout 'Well done!' or 'Great!' or 'That was awesome!'?
No-one says 'Bravo'.
3. What's in your bag?
I can see your instrument case. It's an essential and useful method for transporting an instrument. I love it. But what's with your other bag? Why is it so big? What do you have in there? Laundry? Treats? Weapons? Other, slightly smaller instruments?
4. Why can't you just sing the tune?
If I have to listen to another musician sing that 'other' part in Happy Birthday, I will cancel all birthdays from now on.
5. What's the deal with choirs?
Are you all, like, in one massive relationship together or something? Get some boundaries, guys.
6. How much have you had to drink this week?
Yours is surely the only job where every meeting/event ends with a mandatory pub trip. Are your livers all ok with this?
7. What's so bad about the viola?
I get it, it's a big violin - did you ever think that maybe it's just a superior instrument? Anyway, stop picking on it. It's workplace bullying.
8. How much do you *actually* get paid?
Because you all look like you earn huge salaries. I know instruments ain't cheap, and your concert clothes do look awfully fancy…
9. What's with the emotional face when you perform?
Can you really be that into it? Your face is literally contorting into shapes and expressions I've never seen before. Ever heard of expressing yourself subtly?
10. When they have back-up violin players on The X Factor - why don't you do that?
Surely it's the best job in the world? You can pretty much mime!
11. Why do I have to be quiet to listen to you play?
Sitting down is nice, but what if I'm compelled to whoop? Should I internalise? Why do people tut and shush when I dare to shift in my seat?
12. Why don't they make scales into an actual tune?
So, they're just up and down, up and down, all day long. You play them enough, why not make it interesting?
13. Do you ever go out in public and not perform a flashmob?
Everyone's over flashmobs, guys. Stop it.
14. What's with the wincing disapproval face whenever people are the tiniest bit out of tune?
Stop hamming it up - we all know it's bad, some of us are just better at dealing with it.
15. Do you know anyone that isn't a musician too?
Did you hear about the time a musician and non-musician went for an after-work drink? DIDN'T HAPPEN.
16. So, the conductor is like the Prime Minister of musicians?
Because everyone's respectful to their faces, but it's pretty clear that musicians don't like them that much. You guys are going to have so much stuff stored up.
17. Why does every piece take absolutely hours?
Can't you just do the hits in 40 minutes? Give the people what they want!