Sunday, August 03, 2008

singing high

occasionally I get a comment like, "you sing everything so high..." or "your voice is so high..."
I never take the time to explain either how
-I am singing the soprano line of these 4-part hymns, and ideally we all should just be singing our own individual voice part,
-even with that, I often bring hymns which are in the key of D down to C (because most untrained females are not sopranos, and most untrained men are not sopranos one octave down,)
-and I don't bother to point out that if they're men, they're supposed to actually be singing an octave lower than me! ;-)

(and to those who are going to dispute this even though that wasn't what my post was originally about, I am quite certain that for an untrained congregation, a high D, is quite too high. And I am not going to take the time or energy-as if they would let me-to teach them how to sing correctly so they can reach it!)


Gavin said...

One of my favorite quotes: "A man would not go to church wearing his wife's hat, so why should he sing her part?" -Ralph Vaughn Williams

Felipe Gasper said...


What key would you use for SINE NOMINE, then? There is only one little D if sung in the key of F, and it’s approached very well for the voice.

Mara Joy said...

ha, well, in that particular case, I would certainly leave it in the key of F, since there is NO WAY I could transpose at sight that accompaniment! However, if I had an auto-transpose button on my organ, I would probably take it down a whole or half step, but I wouldn't agonize about it in this case. I think people really don't like it when it "hangs around" a high D, like in the case of Joyful, Joyful.