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Reading Allen's article, I am reminded of a cold war parable I heard during the 1960s. It concerned a flute and an oboe who joined an orchestra one year and immediately set to quarrelling. The flute was distressed because whenever it was playing at its lyrical best the oboe would enter. drowning it out. The oboe was affronted because its deepest, most sonorous passages were invariably ruined by the high-pitched flute butting in. When the orchestra split up for the summer and these quarrelsome instruments went their separate ways, the flute, as it angrily contemplated the oboe, found itself stretching on tiptoes and trying to speak in its lowest voice. The oboe, on the other hand, despite its annoyance with the flute, could not resist speaking in falsetto and hunching over as it played. When the orchestra reassembled in the fall. it had two new clarinets.

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