Members of an orchestra assemble in a thirteenth century chapel which is supposed to have perfect acoustics. Also present are two union representatives for the musicians and a television crew; the latter are doing interviews and filming the rehearsal. As the musicians talk about their instruments, they are revealed to be petty, self-centered artists. Eventually the German conductor (Baldin-Bass) appears and the rehearsal begins. After a series of false starts and erroneously played passages, there is a break. The imperious conductor talks about his art. Later on, he is overthrown by the rebellions musicians.

Orchestra Rehearsal was a controversial 70-minute television presentation. The music was the last work of Nino Rota who created the scores for all of Fellini's movies. This parable can be taken as a commentary on the political chaos in Italy or as a witty reflection on the human condition — especially our penchant for stressing individual liberty over the social good.