A managed care company president was given a ticket for a performance of Schubert's
Unfinished Symphony. Since she was unable to go, she gave the ticket to one of her managed
care reviewers. The next morning she asked him how he had enjoyed it. Instead of a few
observations about the symphony in general, she was handed a formal memorandum which read
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, avoiding peaks of inactivity.
2. All 12 violins were playing identical notes. This seems an unneeded duplication, and
the staff of this section should be cut. If a volume of sound is really required, this
could be accomplished with the use of an amplifier.
3. Much effort was involved in playing the 16th notes. This appears to be an excessive
refinement, and it is recommended that all notes be rounded up to the nearest 8th note. If
this were done it would be possible to use para-professionals instead of experienced
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 then the
concert could be reduced from two hours to twenty minutes.
5. The symphony had two movements. If Mr. Schubert didn't achieve his musical goals by
the end of the first movement,then he should have stopped there. The second movement is
unnecessary and should be cut.