Proud to be an accompanist!

Why is the tips jar incongruous? Is it just that it’s so blatant, but a discreet one would be okay, in a lounge setting? Or is this a formal recital? Or is it odd that it seems to be for the accompanist and not the singer? No, I don’t really understand it.


  1. No matter whether this is in an expensive concert hall or a cheap piano bar, the audience doesn’t have free access to the jar where it has been placed. The implication is that the singer should pay up to ensure that he doesn’t ruin her performance with sub-standard accompaniment.

  2. And the pianist’s expression is strange, or strangely drawn. It’s mostly a grin, but verging on grimace.

  3. Danny Boy – I think it is an embarrassed grin: “I know this is inappropriate, but I can’t make ends meet. Maybe you could put in a tip and I’ll try extra hard to accompany you?”

  4. Speaking as someone who has accompanied recitals, including one at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, I can see that this is a formal recital. The curtain, the concert grand piano, and the way they are dressed all indicate that. The tip jar doesn’t belong, and, as noted, that’s the joke.

    I’ve seen I don’t know how many variations, in magazine cartoons and animated cartoons. An army bugler wakes up at 6, puts a nickel in a juke box next to his bed, the juke box plays Reveille and the bugler goes back to sleep. Oswald the Rabbit runs the electric trolley car, but he starts it by going around to the front, pulling the ring and turning the crank like a Model T Ford gas engine.

  5. Kilby — Apologies if I harshed your mellow; I was just replying to Mike P., and didn’t even remember or much notice that he was, I guess, replying to something you posted. (Let’s you and him fight!)

  6. @ Shrug – No, let’s not. I’ve already said all I have to say on the subject, and I would rather not listen to the high pitched whine of Bill spinning in his grave.

  7. P.S. @ Shrug – And to be honest, you didn’t “harsh my mellow” – it was more like “mellowing my harsh”. Your comment gave me pause and let me think for a day before I decided to reply.

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