And the Band Played Badly – New York Times

Another well-cured article that bears posting. In fact, I’m surprised nobody had “discovered” it ahead of me. Certainly speaks to why Stumble Upon is loosing its grip on me…

Alexander McCall Smith explores that bizarre British tradition of supporting those “artistes” (cf. Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, William Topaz McGonagall) who are so outlandishly bad at their chosen field that the sheer determination of their mediocrity makes them worth supporting.

Funny to compare and contrast with America, land of the “U-S-A! U-S-A!”, where no one roots for the Washington Generals.

Some years ago, a group of frustrated people in Scotland decided that the pleasure of playing in an orchestra should not be limited to those who are good enough to do so, but should be available to the rankest of amateurs. So we founded the Really Terrible Orchestra, an inclusive orchestra for those who really want to play, but who cannot do so very well. Or cannot do so at all, in some cases.

My own playing set the standard. I play the bassoon, even if not quite the whole bassoon. I have never quite mastered C-sharp, and I am weak on the notes above the high D. In general, I leave these out if they crop up, and I find that the effect is not unpleasant.

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