How many Baroque musicians does it take to change a light bulb?

How many Baroque musicians does it take to change a light bulb?

1) None. The historically-informed response would be to replace the light bulb with an equivalent number of tallow candles.

2) Only one, but he must wait for several decades of historical research on period-correct illumination techniques in old castles in Europe culminating in the publication of several doctoral theses by up-and-coming musicologists.

3) Only one, but she must consult with several experts on the proper method of holding the light bulb, overhand or underhand, and spend many hours practicing the proper twisting technique of the wrist, lest the operation come off looking like a contemporary light bulb-replacement and not a historically-informed one.

4) About five-hundred, while they hold an international summer festival on Baroque and Rococo illumination and lighting design, together with seminars, the presentation of scholarly papers, various chamber concerts featuring period lighting, and dance classes.

5) Only one, but he will forever be shunned from the early music community if he replaces it with a modern compact florescent bulb rather than the traditional and far-less-energy-efficient tungsten filament bulb.

6) Two: One to screw in the light bulb, but first, another one to restore the burned-out light bulb to its original configuration by steaming open the glass globe, recalibrating it to resonate at a slightly lower voltage, reducing the angle of the fluting, lowering the bridge, installing a sheep-gut filament, re-sealing it with hide glue, and removing the chinrest — wait, was I talking about a light bulb?

These jokes are entirely original with me, Wheat Williams, but let me say thanks to Kelsey Andrew Schilling for the inspiration.

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5 thoughts on “How many Baroque musicians does it take to change a light bulb?”

  1. On the other hand, Renaissance specialists are perfectly happy with as much light as we can get, preferably using LED technology. We usually already have more than enough to deal with, without worrying about light bulbs.

  2. this was delightful. so true. yet, let’s just make lotsa lotsa music and have lotsa lotsa fun and forget about the darn lightbulbs? :)

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