Musician Jokes‎ > ‎


The last chair violist shows up for the start of a concert series and is met at the door by the orchestra business manager who is frantic.

He says, "Joe, can you conduct the orchestra tonight? The conductor is stuck in traffic and since you're the last chair violist the sound of the orchestra won't suffer if you aren't playing."

Joe agrees and does a very credible job conducting the concert.

The next day he shows up for work and sits beside his stand mate, Fred, at the back of the viola section.

Fred turns to him and says, "Joe, where were you last night?"

How is lightning like a violist's fingers?

Neither one strikes in the same place twice.
How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
Put it in a viola case.

Q: What do a viola and a lawsuit have in common?
A: Everyone is relieved when the case is finally closed.
What's the difference between a violin and a viola?
    1. The viola burns longer.
    2. The viola holds more beer.
    3. You can tune the violin.

We all know that a viola is better than a violin because it burns longer. But why does it burn longer?
It's usually still in the case.
How do you get a viola section to play spiccato?
Write a whole note with "solo" above it.
How do you get a violist to play a passage pianissimo tremolando?
Mark it "solo."
What's the difference between a viola and a coffin?
The coffin has the dead person on the inside.
What do you do with a dead violist?
Move him back a desk.
What's the difference between a viola and a trampoline?
You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline.
What's the difference between a viola and an onion?
No one cries when you cut up a viola.
What's the definition of a minor second?
Two violists playing in unison.
What's the definiton of "perfect pitch?"
Throwing a viola into a dumpster without hitting the rim.
Why do violists stand for long periods outside people's houses?
They can't find the key and they don't know when to come in.
Why do so many people take an instant dislike to the viola?
It saves time.
How can you tell when a violist is playing out of tune?
The bow is moving.
How was the canon invented?
Two violists were trying to play the same passage together.
Why is a viola solo like a bomb?
By the time you hear it, it's too late to do anything about it.
Why do violists leave their instrument cases on the dashboards of their cars?
    1. So they can park in "handicapped" parking places.
    2. If someone mistakes them for mafia, they might get some respect.

Why don't violists play hide and seek?
Because no one will look for them.
Why do violists smile when they play?
Because ignorance is bliss and what they don't know can't hurt them.
What's the difference between a dead skunk in the road and a crushed viola in the road?
Skid marks before the skunk.
How do you get a violin to sound like a viola?
    1. Sit in the back and don't play.
    2. Play in the low register with a lot of wrong notes.

If you throw a violist and a soprano off a cliff, which one would hit the ground first? (two answers)
    1. The violist. The soprano would have to stop halfway down to ask directions.
    2. Who cares?

A conductor and a violist are standing in the middle of the road. which one do you run over first, and why?
The conductor. Business before pleasure.
What's the most popular recording of the William Walton viola concerto?
Music Minus One
What do a viola and a lawsuit have in common?
Everyone is happy when the case is closed.
Why are violas so large?

It's an optical illusion. It's not that the violas are large; just that the viola players' heads are so small.

What's the difference between a chain saw and a viola?
If you absolutely had to, you could use a chain saw in a string quartet.
What is the definition of a cluster chord?
A viola section playing on the C string.
Why do violists get antsy when they see the Kama Sutra?
All those positions!
Why do people tremble with fear when someone comes into a bank carrying a violin case?
They think he's carrying a machine gun and might be about to use it.
Why do people tremble with fear when someone comes into a bank carrying a viola case?
They think he's carrying a viola and might be about to use it.
What's the difference between the first and last desk of a viola section?
    1. half a measure
    2. a semi-tone

Why can't you hear a viola on a digital recording?
Recording technology has reached such an advanced level of development that all extraneous noise is eliminated.
Did you hear about the violist who bragged that he could play 32nd notes?
The rest of the orchestra didn't believe him, so he proved it by playing one.
Why is viola called "bratsche" in Germany?
Because that's the sound it makes when you sit down on it.
Why can't a violist play with a knife in his back?
Because he can't lean back in his chair.
What instrument do violists envy most?
The harp. You only ever have to play pizzicato on open strings.
What's another name for viola auditions?
Scratch lottery.
How do you get a dozen violists to play in tune?
    1. Shoot 11 of them.
    2. Shoot all of them.
    3. Who  wants a dozen violists?

What's the latest crime wave in New York City?
Drive-by viola recitals.
How does a violist's brain cell die?
Why do violists have pea-sized brains?
Because alcohol has swelled them.
How many violists does it take to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies?
Ten. One to stir the batter and nine to peel the M & M's.
What's the similarity between the Beatles and the viola section of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?
Neither has played together since 1970.
What is the longest viola joke?
Harold in Italy
What do you call a bunch of violists in a hot tub?
Vegetable soup.
Did you hear about the violist who played in tune?
Neither did I.
What is the main reqirement at the "International Viola Competition?"
Hold the viola from memory.
Why did the violist marry the accordion player?
Upward mobility.
How do you transcribe a violin piece for viola?
Divide the metronome marking by 2.
How do you keep a violist from drowning?
Take your foot off his head.

Conductor: "Start three measures before the da capo."
Principal violist: "Hold on! We don't have measure numbers."

At a rehearsal, the conductor stops and shouts to the bass section: "You are out of tune. Check it, please!"

The first bassist pulls all his strings, says, "Our tuning is correct: all the strings are equally tight."

The first violist turns around and shouts, "You bloody idiot! It's not the tension. The pegs have to be parallel!"

Radio presenter, Tim Pollard, on BBC Radio Jersey, when introducing a piece of music by the well-known British composer, Eric Coates, said:

"All Eric Coates ever wanted to do was to write music to entertain. But for a while he was a professional viola player."

After his retirement the violist arrived home carrying his viola case. His wife saw the case and asked "What's that?"
(In Germany it is a standing joke that some players leave their instruments in their lockers, removing them only for rehearsals and performances.)

A violist and a 'cellist were standing on a sinking ship. "Help!" cried the 'cellist, "I can't swim!"

"Don't worry," said the violist, "just fake it."

A violist came home and found his house burned to the ground. When he asked what happened, the police told him "Well, apparently the conductor came to your house, and ..."

The violist's eyes lit up and he interrupted excitedly, "The conductor? Came to my house?"

A 'cellist and three violists walked into a restaurant. Presently a waiter came over to serve them.

"Good Evening, sir," he said to the 'cellist. "And what would like tonight?"

"I'd like a rump steak, medium rare," replied the 'cellist.

"Would you like anything with that?"

"What do you have?"

"Salad?" suggested the waiter.

"No, thank you," said the cellist.


"Ah, no."


"Oh, they'll have the same thing I'm having."

A viola player went to a piano recital. After the performance he went up to the pianist and said, "You know, I particularly liked that piece you played last--the one that started with a long trill."

The pianist said, "Huh? I didn't play any pieces that started with trills."

The viola player said, "You know--[he hums the opening bars of Für Elise.]"

A violist in an orchestra was crying and screaming at the oboe player sitting directly behind him. The conductor asked, "What are you so upset about?"

The violist replied "The oboist reached over and turned one of the pegs on my viola and now it's all out of tune!"

The conductor asked "Don't you think you're overreacting?"

The violist replied "I'm not overreacting! He won't tell me which one!"

A violinist noticed at the end of each rehearsal break, one of the violists would look at the inside flap of his jacket before he sat down to resume rehearsal. This continued for several decades, and the violinist became quite curious about it. One day, during hot weather, the violist took off his jacket and went off on break. The violinist waited until everyone was off the platform, looked around, and sneaked over to the jacket. He pulled back the flap and saw a little note pinned on the inside. It read: "viola left hand, bow right."

A man went into a novelty shop and saw an item that caught his fancy almost immediately. It was a stuffed rat. The man couldn't take his eyes off it, and finally asked how much it cost. The answer was "$79.95, but if you buy it, you can't return it for any reason." The man thought this was a bit odd, but he was really taken by the stuffed rat so he bought it.

As he headed down the street with the stuffed rat, several live rats started following him. He thought this was really odd, but he kept walking. Within a few blocks, he had a huge pack of rats behind him. When he got to the river, he threw the stuffed rat into the river, and all the live rats jumped into the river and drowned.

The man returned to the shop. As soon as he walked in, the owner said "I told you you couldn't return the stuffed rat!"

The man said "No! I don't want to return it! I was wondering if you had any stuffed violists."

When "Oetzi," the famous glacier-mummy, was found in the Alps, archeologists and anthropologists were mystified by the riddle of "Oetzi's" nature, the chief question being: "How did he get under the ice-fields?" Thanks to a joint venture operation by leading music-anthropologists the mystery has found its solution: "Oetzi" must have been a violist. How else could the glacier have caught up with him?

A group of terrorists hijacked a plane full of violists. They called down to ground control with their list of demands and added that if their demands weren't met, they would release one violist every hour.

Once upon a time there was a hospital where they made brain transplantations. A client asked about the prices.

The doctor said, " Well, this Ph.D. brain costs $10,000...this brain belonged to a NASA top scientist and costs $15,000...oh yes, here we a violist's brain as well. It costs $50000."

The client asked, "What? How's that possible?"

The doctor replied, "You see, it's totally unused."

A noted bon vivant and comic was recently flying to Berlin. He decided to strike up a conversation with his seat mate.

"I've got a great violist joke. Would you like to hear it?"

"I should let you know first that I am a violist".

"That's OK. I'll tell it slowly!"

A psychiartrist walks into a brain shop, and says to the propriator "Hello. I am here to do some reasearch on human brains. What do you have in stock?"

"Well," propriator began, "We have some Harvard MBA brains at $10 a pound. We also have a few NASA brains going for about $100 a pound. And, just in today, we have some fresh violist brains."

"How much are they?" the scientist inquired.

"$1000 a pound."

"Wow! That's expensive! Every orchestra has them. Why are they so expesive? Are they really high quality?"

"Well, no, they're about average. But, do you know how many violists have to die to get a pound of brains?"

A violist and a percussionist were walking in a park. The percussionist saw a dead crow and said to the violist, "Look, a dead crow."

The violist looked up and asked, "Where?"

One day Timmy came home from school very excited. "Mommy, Mommy, Guess what? Today in English I got all the way to the end of the alphabet, and everyone else got messed up around 'P'!"

His mother said, "Very good, dear. That's because you're a violist."

The next day, Timmy was even more excited. "Mommy, Mommy, guess what! Today in math I counted all the way to ten, but everyone else got messed up around seven!"

"Very good, dear," his mother replied. "That's because you're a violist."

On the third day, Timmy was beside himself. "Mommy, Mommy, today we measured ourselves and I'm the tallest one in my class! Is that because I'm a violist?"

"No dear," she said. "That's because you're 26 years old."


For sale: Viola, German, 19th century, 405mm. Excellent condition. Recently tuned.

Established string quartet requires two violinists and a 'cellist.