The Well-Tempered Ear

In classical music, what would be a really clever and outrageous but believable April Fools’ Day story? Tell us the best one and win prizes from The Ear. | April 1, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

Today is April 1.

That is, April Fools’ Day.

I’ll admit it: I do not like April Fools’ Day stories or so-called jokes.

In fact, I hate them.

When I was working in a newsroom, I always considered it unprofessional to publish such stories. I saw it as a betrayal of the same public trust that newspaper and magazines are always crowing about and citing as grounds for all sorts of rights or even privileges.

But I also hate them personally as well as professionally.

That’s probably just because I am a gullible and sincere guy, a sucker who falls for them.

“Oh, really” I would almost always say – to much laughter and guffawing, disbelief and incredulity, to say nothing of embarrassment, awkwardness and shame. I was always The Joker or The Jerk.

But who knows? Maybe there is a deeper reason for my disdain of April Fools’ Day and all that it entails.

Anyway, for some reason this year I found myself at the end of March idly wondering: What would be a good April Fool’s Day story in classical music?

Steinway Pianos to Go Digital” was one.

“Steinway to Make Violins” was another.

You get the idea. I have a very limited ability for this kind of goofing around and satire.

Maybe I just lack the imagination to be both outrageous and believable.

So I call on you, Dear Readers:

If you are so inclined, come up with and tell me: What would be a good headline for a classical music April Fool’s Day story?

Just send in your suggestions – put them in COMMENTS — and let’s see what you come up with.

If one story clearly emerges as a winner, I will personally send that person a recently published book about classical music and a new CD as a top prize. So include your snail-mail address or e-mail so I can get that address.

Happy Brainstorming!

And Happy April Fools’ Day!

And THAT is no joke.


  1. “Bach Hits Broadway!” Glitzy “Baroque Follies” sets critics’ toes a-tappin!

    (April Fool’s…)

    Comment by Betsy Hagens — April 2, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  2. “P.D.Q. Bach Was Real!!!”

    Peter Schickele: I had no idea.

    Comment by Albrecht Gaub — April 1, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

  3. Actually, I kinda liked the digital Steinway joke. Violins, too farfetched to fool anyone.

    Comment by Steve Rankin — April 1, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

  4. The best April Fool’s joke I know was played on me by
    my Lower School students. As part of my music teaching contract, I was responsible for accompanying group singing at bi-weekly assemblies.

    One year on April 1, I took my place at the keyboard, checked over the music, put my fingers on the keys and – nothing! I tried again – still nothing. Giggles throughout the auditorium. I checked the pedals, the inside of the instrument, and finally was rescued by the students who had invented the joke. They came to the piano and pulled the Scotch tape off the front – not the top – of the keys. The instrument and its player proceeded unscathed!

    In retrospect the joke was inventive, harmless, and very funny. So glad you asked!

    Comment by Jane Frazee — April 1, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

  5. Haha I actually found the Steinway series of jokes quite ingenious. I just saw a news on ABC, about Yo-Yo Ma going rock (,cellist-yo-yo-ma-to-release-hip-hop-album.aspx) which was easy to see through for claiming that it was recorded on a “solid gold cello” (uh… duh? I know it’s April Fool’s Day today). That was a complete giveaway! Perhaps something along this line, with less tacky tactics would make a good April Fool’s Story. And the recently published book about classical music is sure tempting for me, though I’ve yet to come up with any jokes. 😛

    Comment by ikmeow — April 1, 2012 @ 9:04 am

  6. How about the discovery of a 10th Beethoven symphony?

    Comment by Rita Stevens — April 1, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  7. I’m the same as you regarding April Fool’s Day-too sincere and gullible or possibly just too serious!

    Anyhow, I’m in the Madison Chamber Choir and hope you might do a story about us in April. We have our 20th anniversary concert on April 20. We’re doing the Martin Mass for double choir and the premier of a work we commissioned from David Conte. Our artistic director is Anthony Cao (he’s a great story all by himself!). If you agree, I’ll put you in touch with Anthony for details.

    BTW, I love your blog. No joke!


    Comment by Deb Anken-Dyer — April 1, 2012 @ 6:58 am

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