A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 07, 2017
“How do you keep a violin from getting stolen?"/"Put it in a viola case.”

A popular riddle about the viola is:

Q: How do you keep a violin from getting stolen?
A: Put it in a viola case.


In other words, no one would steal a viola. THe joke has been cited in print since at least 1992.


Google Groups: rec.music.classical
lists
Gabe M Wiener
2/16/92
(...)
Q:  How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
A:  Put it in a viola case.

Google Groups: rec.music.classical
Needed: Viola jokes
Liat Kaplan
4/2/94
(...)
How do you keep a violin from being stolen?
Put it in a viola case.

Google Groups: rec.humor
VIOLA JOKES
Fil Feit
10/6/94
(...)
Q: How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
A: Put it in a viola case.

Google Books
The Musician’s Joke Book:
Knowing the Score

By Nancy J. Groce
London: Schirmer Trade Books
1996
Pg. ?:
How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
Put it in a viola case.

Google Groups: alt.tasteless.jokes
How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
Silver Surfer
8/10/98
Q: How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
A: Put it in a viola case.

Google Books
Paroles à rire
By Eliane Daphy
Publications langues’O.
1999
Pg. 144:
Other jokes draw comparisons with other, more highly regarded instruments:

How do you keep your violin from being stolen? Put it in a viola case.

Google Books
The Musician’s Joke Book
By Jim Green
London: Wise Publications
2010
Pg. ?:
Q: How do you keep a violin from getting stolen?
A: Put it in a viola case.

Twitter
Jamie Palmatier
‏@jdpalmatier1016
@cchurko how do you keep a violin from being stolen? - Put it in a viola case wink
2:29 PM - 8 Jul 2010

Twitter
Sandy Stevenson
‏@tourscotland
How do you keep a violin from getting stolen in Scotland ?  Put it in a bagpipe case.
5:45 PM - 28 Sep 2010

Reddit—Jokes
How do you keep a violin from getting stolen?
submitted January 8, 2017 by SluffAndRuff
Put it in a viola case.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Saturday, January 07, 2017 • Permalink