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The Evolution of the Modern Musician

Notes form my cousin Gil:

I've gotten a lot of feedback on the "Evolution" thing.  Here are some answers to people's FAQs.

  Actually, I had postulated that the conductor, although not illustrated on this obviously incomplete chart, must have first appeared when the drummer lost one of his sticks and subsequently began hopping around and waving the other one frantically in an aggressive fashion in order to reassert his feeling of dominance.  This would place him right between the drummer and the violist.  The absent guitar and horn are similarly explained -- the guitarist is the natural next step up from Bass Player.  It has a greater number of strings and is capable of playing entire chords, but hasn't yet evolved to a higher level of intelligence.  The Horn should come between Trombone and Trumpet -- He first developed expanded range, then valves.  He eventually developed a sound capable of dictating the musical style of, and thus dominating the entire ensemble.  This is the trumpeter as we know him today.  Vocalists, contrary to conventional wisdom, are the most highly evolved of all musicians.  This explains why instrumentalists who try to sing don't really sound like real singers, much the same way that apes can only mimmick actual human behavior.  It also explains why you only see trumpeters trying to sing (like Louis Armstrong or Harry James) but never a violist or bassoonist -- they're not evolved enough.  Of course, the down side of being the most advanced is that vocalists have evolved away from some of the most basic skills needed for survival, such as the ability to read, count, or understand basic theory.  As a result, they must rely on the lower forms of life around them for survival.

  Also, the Bass Trombone occured as a mutation of the Trombone, presumably for the same reasons that the Horn appeared, out of a need for expanded range and valves.  However, we don't see in the Bass Trombonist the larger cerebral area found in the Hornist.  They do, however have much larger testicles, which explains the behavior of believing that they can lead an ensemble from the bottom even though no one else in the ensemble seems to notice.    

And now, on to:

Test your skill in 'Orchestral Mathematics'

Choral Terms