Thursday, July 8, 2010

As if to demonstrate the point of yesterday's post, today I heard of a young singer having trouble in music theory class. It is a story by now so familiar that it surprises whenever it comes up that anyone is surprised by it.

The voice resonates so entirely differently from instruments outside the body that the very definition of pitch is called into question every time the singer opens her mouth. Of course, instrumentalists view this as a sign of the mental inferiority of singers. If anything, this attitude indicates a lack of understanding on the part of the instrumentalist, who is probably either a pianist or a theory teacher. Any musician who works with singers on a daily basis knows how changeable an instrument the voice is and must be. Therein lies its power.

Isn't it time to change our notions about pitch to include resonance? Music becomes much more interesting as a result, and musicians much easier to get along with.