Toby Appel's Irreverent Guide to the Orchestra

Juilliard professor and Performance Today commentator Toby Appel has a violist's-eye view of his musical colleagues. In this humorous commentary, he characterizes the members of the orchestra and sets the record straight on their roles in the organization.

Conductor Looking Cool i i

Each section of the orchestra has its own quirks and stereotypes -- which Toby Appel describes with exquisite irreverence. AP Images hide caption

itoggle caption AP Images
Conductor Looking Cool

Each section of the orchestra has its own quirks and stereotypes -- which Toby Appel describes with exquisite irreverence.

AP Images

Part I is a general introduction to the four major groups in the orchestra: woodwinds (low- to mid-genius IQ), strings (neurotic primadonnas), brass (loudmouthed drunkards), and percussion (the worst-mannered of all). In Part II, Appel breaks things down further by discussing the individual instruments and their players' distinctive characteristics. He also explains who that person is standing in front of the orchestra playing no instrument at all.

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