So for the record, I love the viola, that bari-tenor member of the string family, and I even have tickets for a performance of the Walton Viola Concert later this season (see end of this list), but sometimes you just need a good viola joke to get you through. A few for your delectation:
Q: How was the canon invented?
A: Two violists were trying to play the same passage together.
Q: What’s the definition of a minor second?
A: Two violists playing a unison.
Q: How can you tell when a violist is playing out of tune?
A: The bow is moving.
Q: If you’re lost in the desert, what do you aim for? A good viola player, a bad viola player or an oasis?
A: The bad viola player. The other two are only figments of your imagination.
Q: What’s the difference between the first and last desk of a viola section?
A: Half a measure and a semi-tone.
Q: Why do violists stand a long time at people’s houses?
A: Because they can’t find the key and don’t know when to come in.
Q: What is a string quartet?
A: A string quartet consists of a good violinist, a bad violinist, somebody who hates the violin, and somebody who doesn’t know what a violin is.
Q: What’s the best recording of William Walton’s viola concerto?
A: Music Minus One
And in response, some beautiful examples…
And that wonderful Walton, with the former principal viola of the National Symphony, Roberto Diaz.