Many of these are stories and test questions accumulated by music teachers in the state of Missouri. They were collected by Harold Dunn and published in the Missouri School Music Newsletter. The others have come from various other sources. (Obviously.)

  1. A bassoon looks like nothing I have ever heard.
  2. A fugue is what you get in a room full of people when all the windows and doors are shut.
  3. A harp is a nude piano.
  4. A trumpet is an instrument when it is not an elephant sound.
  5. A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.
  6. Aaron Copland is one of your most famous contemporary composers. It is unusual to be contemporary. Most composers do not live until they are dead.
  7. Agnus Dei was a woman composer famous for her church music.
  8. An oboe is an American tramp.
  9. An opera is a song of a bigly size.
  10. Anyone who can read all the instrument notes at the same time gets to be the conductor.
  11. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling him. I guess he could not hear so good. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.
  12. Caruso was at first an Italian. Then someone heard his voice and said he would go a long way. And so he came to America.
  13. For some reason, they always put a treble clef in front of every line of flute music. You just watch.
  14. Henry Purcell is a well known composer few people have ever heard of.
  15. I can't reach the brakes on this piano!
  16. I would like for you to teach me how to play the cello. Would tomorrow or Friday be best?
  17. In the last scene of Pagliacci, Canio stabs Nedda who is the one he really loves. Pretty soon Silvio also gets stabbed, and they all live happily ever after.
  18. It is easy to teach anyone to play the maracas. Just grip the neck and shake him in rhythm.
  19. John Sebastian Bach died from 1750 to the present.
  20. Just about any animal skin can be stretched over a frame to make a pleasant sound once the animal is removed.
  21. Last month I found out how a clarinet works by taking it apart. I both found out and got in trouble.
  22. Most authorities agree that music of antiquity was written long ago.
  23. Music instrument has a plural known as orchestra.
  24. Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel.
  25. My favorite composer is Opus.
  26. My very best liked piece of music is the Bronze Lullaby.
  27. Probably the most marvelous fugue was the one between the Hatfields and McCoys.
  28. Refrain means don't do it. A refrain in music is the part you better not try to sing.
  29. The double bass is also called the bass viol, string bass, and bass fiddle. It has so many names because it is so huge.
  30. The flute is a skinny-high shape-sounded instrument.
  31. When electric currents go through them, guitars start making sounds. So would anybody.
  32. While trombones have tubes, trumpets prefer to wear valves.

Q: What are kettledrums called?
A: Kettledrums