A company chairman was given a ticket for a performance of Schubert’s
Unfinished Symphony. Since he was unable to go, he passed the invitation
to the company’s Quality Assurance Manager.
The next morning, the chairman asked him how he enjoyed it and, instead of
a few plausible observations, he was handed a memorandum:
1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their
number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra,
thus avoiding peaks of inactivity.
2. All twelve violins were playing identical notes. This seems unnecessary
duplicative, and the staff of this section should be drastically cut. If a
large volume of sound is really required, this could be obtained through
the use of an amplifier.
3. Much effort was involved in playing the demi-semiquavers. This seems an
excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes should be
rounded up to the nearest semiquaver. If this were done, it would be
possible to use trainees instead of craftsmen.
4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that has
already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were
eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours to twenty minutes.
In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert given proper
attention to these matters, he probably would have had the time to finish