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Saturday, October 29

Analysing the "Unfinished Symphony"

A managed care company president was recently given a ticket for a performance of Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony". Unable to attend, he gave the ticket to one of his efficiency reviewers. The next morning, the president asked the reviewer how he had enjoyed the concert, and was handed the following memorandum:
  1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their numbers should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra, thus avoiding peaks of inefficiency.
  2. Much more effort was involved in playing the 16th notes. This seems an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes be rounded up to the nearest 8th. If this were done, it would be possible to use paraprofessionals instead of experienced musicians.
  3. All 12 violins were playing identical notes. This appears to be unnecessary duplication, and the staff in this section should be drastically cut. If a large volume of sound is required, this could be obtained through the use of an amplifier.
  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 2 hours to 20 minutes.
In light of the above, one can only conclude that, had Schubert given appropriate attention to these important matters, his symphony would probably have been finished by now.

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