Managed Care Music Critic

The president of a large California managed care company was also board 
chairman of his community's symphony orchestra.  Unable to attend a concert, 
he gave his tickets to the company's director of health care cost 
containment.  The next morning, the president asked his associate how he
enjoyed the performance, Instead of the expected usual polite remarks, the
director handed him the following memo:


To: Mr. Michael Holtz
From: Stanley Gogetter
Subject: Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony"; Performance of

The undersigned submits the following comments and recommendations
relative to the performance of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony by the 
Civic Orchestra as observed under actual working conditions,

(A) The attendance of the orchestra conductor is unnecessary for public 
        performances.  The orchestra has obviously practiced and has the 
        prior authorization from the conductor to play the symphony at a 
        predetermined level of quality Considerable money could be saved 
        by merely having the conductor critique the orchestra's 
        performance during a retrospective peer review meeting

(B) For considerable periods, the four oboe players had nothing to do. 
        Their numbers should be reduced and their work spread over the 
        whole orchestra thus eliminating peaks and valleys of activity.
        If it is indeed at all necessary to have oboes, a break-thru team 
        should be established to see if their parts could be combined 
        with those of the clarinet players, who could simply switch 
        instruments as required, there-by cutting the reed instrument 
        requirements approximately by one-third.

(C) All 12 violins were playing identical motions.  This is unnecessary
        duplication the staff of this section should be drastically cut 
        with consequent savings If a large volume of sound is required, 
        this could be obtained through electronic amplification, which has 
        reached very high levels of reproductive quality.  Or perhaps the
        reduced number of violin players could pre-record their various 
        parts on tape and co-ordinate the playback(s) with the actual 
        performance. I doubt the audience would even notice.

(D) Much effort was expended playing 16th notes or semi-quavers.  This 
        seems an excessive refinement as most of the listeners are unable 
        to distinguish such rapid playing.  It is recommended that all 
        notes be rounded up to the nearest 8th.  If this is done, it would 
        be possible to use para-professionals instead of experienced 
        musicians. This alone would save a great deal of overhead on the 
(E) No useful purpose would appear to be served by repeating with horns 
        the same passage that has already been handled by the strings.  
        If all such redundant passages were eliminated, as determined by 
        the utilization review committee, the concert could have been 
        reduced from two hours to 20 minutes.  Besides, having heard the 
        melody once, I fail to see what the audience gains by unnecessary 
        repetition. being able to reduce the house lights, and either 
        heating or air conditioning (depending on the season) would 
        greatly increase the profits on each ticket by ending the concert 
        forty minutes sooner.

(F) This symphony had two movements. If 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.
In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert given
attention to these matters, he probably would have had the time to
finish his symphony.

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