Choir Jokes


C, E-flat, and G go into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, but we don't serve minors."

So E-flat leaves, and C and G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished, and G is out flat.

F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. D comes in and heads for the bathroom, saying, "Excuse me; I'll just be a second."

Then A comes in, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and says, "Get out! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight."

E-flat comes back the next night in a three-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender says, "You're looking sharp tonight. Come on in, this could be a major development."

Sure enough, E-flat soon takes off his suit and everything else, and is au natural. Eventually C sobers up and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. C is brought to trial, found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of D.S. without Coda at an upscale correctional facility.


Ever hear the one about the tenor who was so off-key that even the other tenors could tell?


Q: How many tenors does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Six. One to do it, and five to say, "It's too high for him."


Q: What's the inscription on dead blues-singers tombstones?

A: "I didn't wake up this morning..."

Q: How do you tell when your lead singer is at the door?

A: He can't find the key and doesn't know when to come in.


Q: How many lead singers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One. He holds the bulb while the world revolves around him.


Q: Did you hear about the female opera singer who had quite a range at the lower end of the scale.

A: She was known as the deep C diva.


Q: What is the missing link between the bass and the ape?

A: The baritone.


Q: How can you tell when a tenor is really stupid?

A: When the other tenors notice.


Person 1: It must be terrible for an opera singer to realise that he can never sing again.

Person 2: Yes, but it's much more terrible if he doesn't realise it.


Q: Dad, why do the singers rock left and right while performing on stage?

A: Because, son, it is more difficult to hit a moving target.


Q: Mom, why do you always stand by the window when I practice for my singing lessons?

A: I don't want the neighbors to think I'm employing corporal punishment, dear.


Q: How many altos does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. They can't get up that high.


Q: How many lead singers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. Get the drummer to do it. If you took all the tenors in the world and laid them end to would be a good idea.


Q: Where's a tenor's resonance?

A: Where his brain should be.


Q: What do you call ten baritones at the bottom of the ocean?

A: A good start.


Q: What is the definition of a mezzo soprano?

A: Just an alto with a soprano's attitude.


Q: What's the definition of a male quartet?

A: Three men and a tenor.


Q: What's the difference between a soprano and a piranha?

A: The lipstick.


Q: What's the difference between a soprano and a pit bull?

A: The jewelry.


Q: What's the definition of an alto?

A: A soprano who can sightread.


Q: What's the difference between an alto and a tenor?

A: Tenors don't have hair on their backs.


Q: How do you tell if a bass is actually dead?

A: Hold out a cheque.


Q: How many basses does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: None. They're so macho they prefer to walk in the dark and bang their shins.


Q: What is the difference between a choral director and a chimpanzee?

A: It's scientifically proven that chimpanzees are able to communicate with humans.


Q: Why can't you hear a soprano on a digital recording?

A: Recording technology has reached such an advanced level of development that all extraneous noise is eliminated.


Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.


A Choristers' Guide To Keeping Conductors In Line

The basic training of every singer should, of course, include myriad types of practical and theoretical emphases. One important area which is often neglected, however, is the art of one-upmanship. The following rules are intended as guides to the development of habits which will promote the proper type of relationship between singer and conductor.

1. Never be satisfied with the starting pitch. If the conductor uses a pitch-pipe, make known your preference for pitches from the piano and vice-versa.

2. Complain about the temperature of the rehearsal room, the lighting, crowded space, and of a draft. It's best to do this when the conductor is under pressure.

3. Bury your head in the music just before cues.

4. Ask for a re-audition or seating change. Ask often. Give the impression you're about to quit. Let the conductor know you're there as a personal favor.

5. Loudly clear your throat during pauses (tenors are trained to do this from birth). Quiet instrumental interludes are a good chance to blow your nose.

6. Long after a passage has gone by, ask the conductor if your C# was in tune. This is especially effective if you had no C# or were not singing at the time.

7. At dramatic moments in the music (which the conductor is emoting), be busy marking your music so that the climaxes will sound empty and disappointing.

8. Wait until well into a rehearsal before letting the conductor know that you don't have the music.

9. Look at your watch frequently. Shake it in disbelief occasionally.

10. When possible, sing your part either an octave above or below what is written. This is excellent ear-training for the conductor. If he hears the pitch, deny it vehemently and claim that it must have been the combination tone.

11. Tell the conductor, "I can't find the beat." Conductors are always sensitive about their "stick technique" so challenge it frequently.

12. If you are singing in a language with which the conductor is the least bit unfamiliar, ask her as many questions as possible about the meaning of individual words. If this fails, ask her about the pronunciation of the most difficult words. Occasionally, say the word twice and ask her preference, making to say it exactly the same both times. If she remarks on their similarity, give her a look of utter disdain and mumble under your breath about the "subtleties of inflection".

13. Ask the conductor if he has listened to the von Karajan recording of the piece. Imply that he could learn a thing or two from it. Also good: ask, "Is this the first time you've conducted this piece?"

14. If your articulation differs from that of others singing the same phrase, stick to your guns. Do not ask the conductor which is correct until backstage just before the concert.

15. Find an excuse to leave the rehearsal about 15 minutes early so that others will become restless and start to fidget.


Make every effort to take the attention away from the podium and put it on you, where it belongs!


“An oboe is an ill wand that nobody blows any good.”  Beecham

“Please write music like Wagner only louder.”  Sam Goldwyn to Erich Korngold

Piano pupil got up to take a call.  Returning he turned a page and said “oh look, those tadpoles have hatched out!”   (quavers had turned into semiquavers)

There was a young boy in the choir whose voice rose higher and higher,
till one Sunday night it rose out of sight, and they found it next day on the spire.


The Danish national anthem must surely be 'thanes aren't what they used to be?'.  No, it is  'There ain't nothing like a thane'.

Definition of a gentleman:  someone who knows how to play the bagpipes but refrains from doing so.

“The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes.” Beecham.

Brass bands are very well in their place; outdoors and several miles away.


“It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had been dead a year.”  Tom Lehrer

Defunct = had one's sense of rhythm removed.

Music appreciation teacher on Elgar piece:  “Enjoy this; just sit back and think of England”.

Conductor: “Could you make those runs sound less like someone being sick on a Saturday night?”.

“My piano playing was so good people used to throw stones at the window to hear me better.” Spike Milligan

Led Zeppelin late work:  Stairlift to Heaven.

“Music is the water through which your boat passes on the way to heaven.” Tolstoy?


Two sopranos meet at an airport.  

“Did I tell you darling, I insured my voice for £100,000?”  

“No darling you didn't; did they pay out?”

“Do you know (such and such a stately house)?”  Beecham, “Oh yes, I spent a month down there last weekend”.

Beecham to a player weak on tempo:  “I know we cannot expect you to be with us all the time, but perhaps you would be kind enough to keep in touch now and again?”

Why couldn't the bass player get through the door?  He had lost the key.

What do you call a pretty girl on a trumpeter's arm?  A tattoo.

Conductor at afternoon session of all day workshop:  “It's never too late to work out what key you are in”.

“Wagner's music is better than it sounds.”  Mark Twain

If there's a major fire you congregate in the road.  “How do we know if it's a major or minor fire?” Just listen.



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