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Even in Folklore

An Instrument
Originally uploaded by youplayawhat.
Perhaps you know the viola joke?

What's the difference between a violin and a viola?
The viola burns longer.

But do you know the Czech version?

What's the difference?
The viola holds more beer.

Many musicians have senses of humor, but to be a viola player, one has to be, well, especially talented in this department. (Players of any under-unappreciated instrument, of course, are experts in self-effacement.) But I never realized that Moravian violists have viola jokes, too; and even less did I suspect that they might be the same as those in other viola-playing regions of the world! And like musicians the world over, Czechs like to go for a beer after concerts, which is the perfect opportunity to haul out the instrument jokes. It's just too bad I didn't catch any special Czech-only jokes.

I normally remember less than a few jokes at any time, but here are a few that stuck in my mind after the first beer:

How do you tell the difference between a viola and a coffin?
The coffin has the corpse inside.

You see an ad for a viola: Viola, good condition, recently tuned, never played except in first position.

And there was a banjo player there, too. (That wasn't the joke.)

What do you call one hundred banjos at the bottom of the ocean?
A good start.

And my favorite euphonium joke:
What's the difference between a baritone player and a euphonium player?
A euphonium player won't shut up about not playing the baritone.

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Blogger DTMRacerX said . . .

Are you sure a banjo player being there isn't a joke? It is aweful funny!!    

7:25 AM, December 11, 2006

Anonymous Art said . . .

The euphonium joke is also funny. As the father of a euphonium player, even I find myself talking more about how the euphonium isn't a baritone...even though I don't even know the difference!    

5:10 PM, December 17, 2006

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