Alternative Music Definitions
String Quartet: a good violinist, a bad violinist, an ex-violinist, and someone who hates violinists, all getting together to complain about composers.

Detaché: an indication that the trombones are to play with their slides removed.

Glissando: a technique adopted by string players for difficult runs.

Subito Piano: indicates an opportunity for some obscure orchestra player to become a soloist.

Risoluto: indicates to orchestras that they are to stubbornly maintain the correct tempo no matter what the conductor tries to do.

Senza Sordino: a term used to remind the player that he forgot to put his mute on a few measures back.

Crescendo: a reminder to the performer that he has been playing too loudly.

Conductor: a musician who is adept at following many people at the same time.

Clef: something to jump from before the viola solo.

Transposition: the act of moving the relative pitch of a piece of music that is too low for the basses to a point where it is too high for the sopranos.

Vibrato: used by musicians to hide the fact that they are on the wrong pitch.

Half Step: the pace used by a cellist when carrying hi instrument.

Coloratura soprano: a singer who has great trouble finding the proper note, but who has a wild time hunting for it.

Chromatic scale: an instrument for weighing that indicates half-pounds.

Bar line: a gathering of people, usually among which may be found a musician or two.

Beat: what music students do to each other with their instruments. The down beat is performed on top of the head, while the up beat is struck under the chin.

Cadence: when everybody hopes you're going to stop, but you don't.

Diatonic: low-calorie Schweppes.

Virtuoso: a musician with very high morals.

Music: a complex organizations of sounds that is set down by the composer, incorrectly interpreted by the conductor, who is ignored by the musicians, the result of which is ignored by the audience.

Tenor: two hours before a nooner.

Diminished fifth: an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

Perfect fifth: a full bottle of Jack Daniels.

Repeat: what you do until they just expel you.

Portamento: a foreign country you've always wanted to see.

Arpeggio: "Ain't he that storybook kid with the big nose that grows?"

Cut time:

1. parole.

2. when everyone else is playing twice as fast as you are.

Passing tone: frequently heard near the baked beans at family barbecues.

Whole note: what's due after failing to pay the mortgage for a year.

Clef: what you try never to fall off of.

Bass clef: where you wind up if you do fall off.

Time signature: what you need from your boss if you forget to clock in.

First inversion: grandpa's battle group at Normandy.

Plague: a collective noun, as in "a plague of conductors."

Audition: the act of putting oneself under extreme duress to satisfy the sadistic intentions of someone who has already made up his mind.

Accidentals: wrong notes.

Broken consort: when someone in the ensemble has to leave to go to the bathroom.

Interval: how long it takes to find the right note. There are three kinds:

1. Major interval: a long time.

2. Minor interval: a few bars.

3. Inverted interval: when you have to go back a bar and try again.

Musica ficta: when you lose your place and have to bluff until you find it again.

Transsectional: an alto who moves to the soprano section.