Q: What do you get when you play a new age song backwards?
A: A new age song.
Q: What happens if you sing country music backwards?
A: You get your job and your wife back.
Disco is to music what Etch-A-Sketch is to art.
Q: How can you tell someone is a true music lover?
A: When they even put their ear up to the bathroom keyhole.
After silence, music comes closest to expressing the inexpressible.
Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice.
A cowboy and a biker are on death row, and are to be executed on the same day. The day comes, and they are brought to the gas chamber. The warden asks the cowboy if he has a last request, to which the cowboy replies, "Ah shore do, wardn. Ah'd be mighty grateful if'n yoo'd play 'Achy Breaky Heart' fur me bahfore ah hafta go."
"Sure enough, cowboy, we can do that," says the warden. He turns to the biker, "And you, biker, what's your last request?"
"That you kill me first."
Glossary of music terms
Accent: An unusual manner of pronunciation, e.g. "Y'all sang that real good!"
Accidentals: Wrong notes
Ad Libitum: A premiere.
Agitato: A string player's state of mind when a peg slips in the middle of a piece.
Agnus dei: A famous female church composer.
Allegro: Leg fertilizer.
Altered Chord: A sonority that has been spayed.
Atonality: Disease that many modern composers suffer from. The most prominent symptom is the patient's lacking ability to make decisions.
Augmented fifth: A 36-ounce bottle.
Bar Line: A gathering of people, usually among which may be found a musician or two.
Beat: What music students to do each other with their musical instruments. The down beat is performed on the top of the head, while the up beat is struck under the chin.
Bravo: Literally, "How bold!" or "What nerve!" This is a spontaneous expression of appreciation on the part of the concertgoer after a particularly trying performance.
Breve: The way a sustained note sounds when a violinist runs out of bow.
Broken consort: When somebody in the ensemble has to leave and go to the restroom.
Cadence: When everybody hopes you're going to stop, but you don't.
Cadenza: The heroine in Monteverdi's opera "Frottola".
Cantus firmus: The part you get when you can only play four notes.
Chansons de geste: Dirty songs.
Chord: Usually spelled with an "s" on the end, means a particular type of pants, e.g. "He wears chords."
Chromatic Scale: An instrument for weighing that indicates half-pounds.
Clausula: Mrs. Santa.
Coloratura Soprano: A singer who has great trouble finding the proper note, but who has a wild time hunting for it.
Compound Meter: A place to park your car that requires two dimes.
Con Brio: Done with scouring pads and washboards.
Conductor: A musician who is adept at following many people at the same time.
Conductus: The process of getting Vire into the cloister.
Counterpoint: A favorite device of many Baroque composers, all of whom are dead, though no direct connection between these two facts has been established. Still taught in many schools, as a form of punishment.
Countertenor: A singing waiter.
Crescendo: A reminder to the performer that he has been playing too loudly.
Crotchet: 1) A tritone with a bent prong. 2) It's like knitting, but it's faster. 3) An unpleasant illness that occurs after the Lai, if prolation is not used.
Cut time: When you're going twice as fast as everybody else in the ensemble.
Da capo al fine: I like your hat!
Detache: An indication that the trombones are to play with the slides removed.
Di lasso: Popular with Italian cowboys.
Discord: Not to be confused with Datcord.
Drone: The sound of a single monk during an attack of Crotchet.
Ductia: 1) A lot of mallards. 2) Vire's organum.
Duration: Can be used to describe how long a music teacher can exercise self-control.
Embouchre: The way you look when you've been playing the Krummhorn.
English horn: A woodwind that got its name because it's neither English nor a horn. Not to be confused with French horn, which is German.
Espressivo: Close eyes and play with a wide vibrato.
Estampie: What they put on letters in Quebec
Fermata: A brand of girdle made especially for opera singers.
Fermented fifth: What the percussion players keep behind the tympani, which resolves to a 'distilled fifth', which is what the conductor uses backstage.
Fine: That was great!
Flute: A sophisticated pea shooter with a range of up to 500 yards, blown transversely to confuse the enemy.
Garglefinklein: A tiny recorder played by neums.
Glissando: The musical equivalent of slipping on a banana peel. Also, a technique adopted by string players for difficult runs.
Gregorian chant: A way of singing in unison, invented by monks to hide snoring.
Half Step: The pace used by a cellist when carrying his instrument.
Harmonic Minor: A good music student.
Harmony: A corn-like food eaten by people with accents (see above for definition of accent).
Hemiola: A hereditary blood disease caused by chromatics.
Heroic Tenor: A singer who gets by on sheer nerve and tight clothing.
Hocket: The thing that fits into a crochet to produce a rackett.
Hurdy-gurdy: A truss for medieval percussionists who get Organistrum.
Interval: How long it takes you to find the right note. There are three kinds: Major Interval: a long time; Minor Interval: a few bars; Inverted Interval: when you have to back one bar and try again.
Intonation: Singing through one's nose. Considered highly desirable in the Middle Ages
Isorhythm: The individual process of relief when Vire is out of town.
Isorhythmic motet: When half of the ensemble got a different photocopy than the other half
Lai: What monks give up when they take their vows.
Lamentoso: With handkerchiefs.
Lasso: The 6th and 5th steps of a descending scale.
Lauda: The difference between shawms and krummhorns
Longa: The time between visits with Vire.
Major Triad: The name of the head of the Music Department. (Minor Triad: the name of the wife of the head of the Music Department.)
Mean-Tone Temperament: One's state of mind when everybody's trying to tune at the same time.
Messiah: An oratorio by Handel performed every Christmas by choirs that believe they are good enough, in cooperation with musicians who need the money.
etronome: A dwarf who lives in the city.
Minim: The time you spend with Vire when there is a long line. Breve: The time you spend when the line is short.
Minnesinger: A boy soprano or Mickey's girlfriend in the opera.
Modulation: "Nothing is bad in modulation."
Motet: Where you meet Vire if the cloister is guraded.
Musica ficta: When you lose your place and have to bluff till you find it again. Also known as 'faking'.
Neums: Renaissance midgets
Opus: A penguin in Kansas.
Orchestral suites: Naughty women who follow touring orchestras.
Ordo: The hero in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings".
Organistrum: A job-related hazard for careless medieval percussionists, caused by getting one's tapper caught in the clapper.
Organum: You may not participate in the Lai without one.
Paralell organum: Everybody standing in a double line, waiting for Vire.
Pause: A short period in an individual voice in which there should be relative quiet. Useful when turning to the next page in the score, breathing, emptying the horn of salvia, coughing, etc. Is rarely heard in baroque music. Today, the minimum requirements for pauses in individual pieces are those of the Musicians' Union (usually one per bar, or 15 minutes per hour).
Pneumatic melisma: A bronchial disorder caused by hockets.
Prolation: Precautions taken before the Lai.
Quaver: Beginning viol class.
Rackett: Capped reeds class.
Recitative: A disease that Monteverdi had.
Rhythmic drone: The sound of many monks suffering with Crotchet.
Ritornello: An opera by Verdi.
Rota: An early Italian method of teaching music without score or parts.
Rubato: Expression used to describe irregular behaviour in a performer with sensations of angst in the mating period. Especially common amongst tenors.
Sancta: Clausula's husband.
Score: A pile of all the individual orchestral voices, transposed to C so that nobody else can understand anything. This is what conductors follow when they conduct, and it's assumed that they have studied it carefully. Very few conductors can read a score.
Sine proprietate: Cussing in church.
Solesme: The state of mind after a rough case of Crotchet.
Stops: Something Bach did not have on his organ.
Tempo: This is where a headache begins.
Tempus imperfectum: Vire had to leave early.
Tempus perfectum: A good time was had by all.
Tone Cluster: A chordal orgy first discovered by a well-endowed woman pianist leaning forward for a page turn.
Transposition: An advanced recorder technique where you change from alto to soprano fingering (or vice-versa) in the middle of a piece.
Trill: The musical equivalent of an epileptic seizure.
Trope: A malevolent Neum.
Trotto: An early Italian form of Montezuma's Revenge.
Tutti: A lot of sackbuts.
Vibrato: The singer's equivalent of an epileptic seizure.
Vibrato: Used by singers to hide the fact that they are on the wrong pitch.
Virelai: A local woman known for her expertise in the Lai.
Virtuoso: A musician with very high morals.
1. Carefully calculate power requirements, based on room dimensions, etc. Multiply by a factor of 100.
2. The ideal system should have as many lights as possible, preferably blinking and flashing in time with the music.
3. The components should all have black metal finish, and generally look very cool.
4. The system should be broken up into as many components as possible. (e.g. pre-amp, pre-pre-amp, pre-menstrual-amp, post-amp, post-menopause-amp, etc.)
5. The most important part of a stereo system is the speakers, they should look very cool. Size and number of sub-speakers and varieties of components pointed at the listener is important. (e.g. tweeters, hooters, sub-woofers, super-sub-woofers, seismic noise generators, etc.)
6. The system should resemble the cockpit of an F16 or 757 aircraft; the more knobs and dials you can turn, the better.
7. The system should have full remote control capability, including over the mobile auto cellular phone so that the stereo can be playing as you get home.
8. Should have the capability of playing different music in every room of the house.
9. Components should have a cool names; this means no department store brands.
10. The complete set-up should put a major recording studio or large radio station to shame. After all, you may be trying to duplicate the exciting feeling of being at a heavy metal concert in a football stadium with 70,000 screaming fans.
11. Having state-of-the-art equipment is not enough. You should be a year or two ahead of everyone else. Equipment over the warranty period is obsolete and should be disposed of promptly.
12. The most important factor--out of everyone you know who owns stereo equipment, yours should be better.