18 Steps for Better Band Performance
Everyone should play the same piece.
During a concert, stop at every repeat sign and discuss in detail whether to take the repeat or not. The audience will love this a lot!
If you play a wrong note, give a nasty look to your partner.
Always keep your fingering chart handy. You can always catch up with the others.
Carefully tune your instrument before playing. That way you can play out of tune all night with a clear conscience.
Take your time turning pages.
The right note at the wrong time is a wrong note (and vice versa).
If everyone gets lost except you, follow those who get lost.
Strive to get the maximum NPS (notes per second). That way you gain the admiration of the incompetent.
Markings for slurs, dynamics and ornaments should not be observed. They are only there to embellish the score and make it look nice.
If a passage is difficult, slow down. If it's easy, speed up. Everything will work itself out in the end.
If you are completely lost, stop everyone else and say, "I think we should tune".
Happy are those who have not perfect pitch, for the kingdom of music is theirs.
If the ensemble has to stop because of you, explain in detail why you got lost. Everyone will be very interested.
A true interpretation is realised when there remains not one note of the original.
A wrong note played timidly is a wrong note. A wrong note played with authority is an interpretation.
When everyone else has finished playing, you should not play any notes left over.
Never, ever, look at the conductor. He might mistake it for interest and try to put some real music in the piece.
Nota Bene for Musicians
(with acknowledgements to Peter Hayward)
p - piano (soft) - the neighbours have complained
f - forte (loud) - the neighbours are out
Crescendo - getting louder - testing the neighbours' tolerance level
ff - fortissimo (VERY loud) - to hell with the neighbours
pp - pianissimo (VERY soft) - the neighbours are at the door
Dim. - thick
Obbligato - being forced to practice
Rit. and/or Rall. - coming up to a bit you haven't practiced
Con moto - I have a car
Allegro - A little motor car
Maestro - A bigger motor car
Metronome - Person small enough to fit comfortably into a Mini
Lento - the days leading up to Easto(with eggo and choco and things)
Largo - brewed in Germany (Hence "Handel's Largo" reaches parts other beers cannot reach!)
Piu Animato - if you don't clean that rabbit cage out, it will have to go
Cantata - a fizzy drink
Tutti - ice cream
Coda - a fish-a served with chipsa
Codetta - childs portion
Chords - things that organists play with one finger
Dischords - things that organists play with two fingers
Suspended chord - for lynching the soloist
Rubato - ointment for the musician's back
Subdominant - "I can't play until I've asked the wife"
Tonic - a pick-me-up
Syncopation - bowel condition brought on by an overdose of Jazz
Crotchet - knitting
Quaver - the feeling before a lesson when you haven't practised
Key signature - silly things put there to frighten you (ignore them, they will go away, and so will your audience)
Time signatures - things for drummers to ignore
Colla voce - this shirt is so tight I can't talk
Professional - anyone who can't hold down a steady job
Flats - English apartments
A tempo - (just) in time
A tempo de cafe - Ah, coffee time!
Improvisation - what you do when the music falls down
Fugue - clever stuff
Prelude - warm-up session before the clever stuff
Acciaccattura/appoggiatura - insects
Opus - exclamation made when Moggy has done a "whoopsie" on the carpet
Scales - fishy things
Trills - bird food
Virtuoso - someone who can work wonders with easy-play music
Antiphonal - crossed lines
Melody - an ancient and now extinct art in songwriting
Music - Happiness!