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Rules for Ensemble Playing

1. Everyone should play the same piece.

2. Observe the repeat signs only if what you just played was interesting.

3. If you play a wrong note, glare at one of the other players.

4. Carefully tune your instrument before playing. Then if you play out of tune, you can at least do it with a clear conscience.

5. The right note, at the wrong time, is a wrong note. (And vice-versa.)

6. A wrong note, played timidly, is a wrong note.

7. A wrong note, played with authority, is simply your interpretation of the phrase.

8. If everyone gets lost except you, follow the ones who are lost.

9. Strive always to play the maximum notes per second. This will intimidate the weaker players and gain you the admiration of the ignorant.

10. Markings for slurs, dynamics, and accidentals should be completely ignored. They are only there to make the score look more complicated.

11. If a passage is difficult, slow down. If it is easy, speed up. Everything will even itself out in the end.

12. You have achieved a true interpretation when, in the end, you have not played one note of the original piece.

13. When everyone else stops playing, you should stop also. Do not play any notes you may have left over.

14. Blessed are those without perfect pitch, for the kingdom of music is theirs.

— contributed by Bob Turner


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