If you've glimpsed the about section, then you might have noticed that I play the piano and violin. More recently, I've augmented my collection (pictured below) with the guitar, but, at the moment, it's not so much me playing it; more using it to create noise. George is also pictured (right), with his instrument, a bent straw.

  When starting an instrument, you'll get the obligatory period of absolute noise, before starting to make tuned noise and finally moving onto something almost melodic (this final stage is optional if you're into 20th century classical, and not attainable if you choose an instrument like the bagpipes). Just survive the early stages and you'll find playing an instrument incredibly rewarding - literally; a relatively competent busker (e.g. Sting) can easily make over 40 (or £30 plus foreign change).
  The length of each stage depends on the instrument, the shortest arguably being for piano and the longest for violin (just listen to school orchestras to know what I mean). Once in an ensemble, however, being able to play the music is only a small and sometimes unnecessary part of the problem, because you have unwittingly stumbled into the no-man's-land of orchestra warfare - the feud between the 'families'.

Most people are familiar with the families (categories) of instruments in an orchestra, but what they don't know about is the hate and loathing each family shares for one another.
  Since the introduction of a mediator (conductor), the strife has become political - more like a cold war - and the days of cellists skewering floundering clarinetists on their cello spikes are, today, all but gone. Instead, the weapons have become razor-sharp wit and cutting insults - so most of you will be in big trouble.
  Luckily, I have gathered a small list of tactics and strategies perfect for both the quivering novice and experienced veteran. Also, for those whose musical career ended with the recorder in primary school, there's some for non-musicians in the Other section. All you need to do is choose the appropriate section from the orchestra map below...

music playing


Plucked Strings



All content, including code and media, (c) Copyright 2001 Chris Nash.