“No one can whistle a symphony; it takes a whole orchestra to play it” is a popular saying about teamwork that has been attributed to Halford E. Luccock (1885-1961), a professor of homiletics at the Yale Divinity School. A 1954 book described that Professor Luccock, upon being told that Miss Daisy Brown will whistle Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, said “‘Gentlemen, Miss Daisy Brown will do nothing of the sort!’ His point was that you can’t render a great symphony by a whistling solo.”
“You can’t whistle a symphony; it takes an orchestra to play it” appeared in print by at least 1961.
Wikiquote: Halford E. Luccock
Halford Edward Luccock (1885–1961) was a prominent American Methodist minister and professor of Homiletics at Yale’s Divinity School.
The Quote Garden
Quotations about Teamwork
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. ~H.E. Luccock
Roadblocks to Faith
By James A. Pike and John M. Krumm
New York, NY: Morehouse-Gorham Co.
At the bottom of the program was this astonishing notation: “Miss Daisy Brown will whistle Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.” Professor Luccock said wryly, “Gentlemen, Miss Daisy Brown will do nothing of the sort!” His point was that you can’t render a great symphony by a whistling solo. No more can you render Christianity by solo performance.
Proceedings of the Convention
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of America
I would like to conclude with this one phrase, you can’t whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it. That illustrates cooperation with capital “C”, and cooperation is one of the things for which Al Wilson is famous.
8 November 1961, The Daily Reporter (Dover, OH), pg. 1:
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play. It takes all of us working to gether to improve our community.
17 April 1963, Muscatine (IA) Journal, pg. 12, col. 4 ad:
Even 2 Birds
It Takes a Whole Orchestra
To Play It!
(Muscatine Development Corporation—ed.)
National Management Association
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it, and this is what we are learning on a national scale.
Winning with Teamwork
By Katherine Karvelas
Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.
H. E. Luccock
New York City • Music/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 19, 2012 • Permalink