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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Silly Sunday...

An industrial engineer was given a ticket by his boss for a performance of Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony."

The next morning, the engineer sent the following note to the orchestra's conductor:

MEMORANDUM:

1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra, thus avoiding peaks of inactivity.

2. All 12 violins were playing identical notes. This seems unnecessary duplication, and the staff of this section should be drastically cut. If large volume of sound is required, this could be obtained through use of an amplifier.

3. Much effort was involved in playing the 16th notes. This seems an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes should be rounded up to the nearest 8th note. If this were done, it would be possible to use paraprofessionals instead of experienced musicians.

4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that has already by handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours to 20 minutes.

5. This symphony has two movements. If Schubert didn't achieve his musical goals by the end of the first movement, then he should have stopped there. The second movement is unnecessary and should be cut. In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert given attention to these matters, his symphony would probably have been finished by now.

5 comments:

Mike said...

Thanks to concepts like Lean Manufacturing, that's exactly how engineering works today. I am pretty much convinced that the Japanese made up the concept of "Lean Manufacturing" as a way to get back at us for dropping the big one on them. Sneaky little bastards.

Joey Polanski said...

Emperor Joseph wouda said it bettr:

"Too many notes."

Colonel Colonel said...

Mike- Just think what sort of efficiences they could perform on our Presidential Elections...

Joey- I'd forgotten that! What Mozart was doing spending his time writing so many notes with a hot babe like Constanza around, I'm not sure. Of course, they had something like 11 kids, so he must not have spent all his time writing notes.

Joey Polanski said...

Unfortunately, Emperor Joseph has been spendin a little too much time doin a little more than emperorin.

anaglyph said...

In a corollory to this, there's a (probably apocryphal) story about Louis B. Mayer hiring two 'Time & Motion' experts to work out how a Hollywood shoot could become 'more efficient'.

At the end of their extensive period of observation and research over several months on set, they concluded that the only redundant personnel were themselves.

(As anyone who visits a film set will know, it seems that there are an awful lot of people standing around doing 'nothing'. They have to be there of course, because their jobs are such that they may be required to hop-to at any moment for some reason or another - taking them away causes huge financial problems when things suddenly grind to a halt because, say, a light fitting doesn't work and the electrician is elsewhere...)