Schubert and Managed Care?
The following story has been floating around for some time. I don't know who
wrote it, but it's reasonably self-explanatory:
The president of a managed care company was given a ticket for a
performance which included Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Since she was
unable to go, she passed the invitation to one of her managed care
reviewers. The next morning, she asked him how he had enjoyed the concert,
and was handed a memorandum which read as follows:
- 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.
- All 24 violins were playing identical notes. This seems unnecessary
duplication, and the staff of this section should be drastically cut. If a
large volume of sound is really required, this could be obtained through the
use of an amplifier.
- Much effort was involve 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 more expensively trained musicians.
- No useful purpose is served by the horns repeating a passage that has
already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were
eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours to 45 minutes.
- Mr Schubert's symphony has two movements. If he 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. Also, in light
of the points mentioned above, one can only conclude that had Mr. Schubert
given attention to these matters, he probably would have had the time to
finish his symphony.
Copyright © 1997 by Matthew B. Tepper
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