Monday, February 22, 2010

Make a Joyful Noise


I always sang melody. Because it's all about me and not about the music, not about the choir. Now in my middle years the melody has drifted away somewhere – out of reach of my grasping fingers. I'm trying to sing alto, fumbling for that counter note - the one that's not there in my head.

My first choir practice I try to hear that note under the insistence that is melody. I'm listening, catching it some of the time. And then, I was a teenager sitting on that second row in the choir at Brookford Baptist Church. In my ear I could hear Mrs. Holsclaw (who always wanted us to make a big deal of the "s" sound at the ends of words). And there was my grandmother – as natural an alto as you ever heard. She gave that gift to my aunt Emily, who shares it with my Dad at the nursing home on Sundays. I heard them all right there and for a while the noise I made was actually music. I found that note and the sound was so sweet that it almost made me cry.


Mamaw & Emily



15 comments:

  1. There is something deep in us that music can get too. A number of voices, singing as one, is a stirring and powerful thing. Glad you found your music and really liked the way you shared it with us.

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  2. Gosh, this brings back memories! I sang in a Baptist choir for years and years...and fumbled with that
    2nd alto line, as well.

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  3. It can be hard to support the melody singing other parts. I've been told that I'm a natural soprano but I find the alto range more comfortable and consistent. I'm not good at reading music for singing (I can read it to plunk out notes on the piano) so I tend to learn the part by listening, as it seems you do too. I have learned along the way to forgive myself when my voice fumbles, because as you note, making a joyful noise is part of the deal.

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  4. Sounds like you are really enjoying the choir. I have never tried anything like that.

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  5. Music is such a memory-keeper for me, too. I loved how my voice would seem to blend so beautifully with my mother's while singing hymns at church.

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  6. i LOVE to sing -- i used to be a lot better than i am now, but i still sing along to everything!

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  7. I was always a soprano and now I just love trying to pick out the alto part, it is something that really challenges me.

    Singing really affects the soul.

    Amy

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  8. So happy for you. I can't imagine singing in public, and I'm sure others are grateful for that, but I sing my heart out in my own house. Just like beautiful flowers, singing fills the soul.
    Bella

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  9. Love the pic of Maw maw and Emily.

    And me? I love singing harmony, hiding underneath the melody. Oh yeah.

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  10. I am envious. My voice is too low for soprano and I am definitely alto-challenged. But I do have an ear for great harmony when I hear it.

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  11. I can't sing or carry a tune for the life of me; but I can remember being assigned to the choir at school because they needed more boys.

    After a while the choir teacher suggested I stop trying to sing and just mouth the words.

    Oh, and take my bow on stage at the end with the rest of them.

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  12. I used to sing in the choir in the Anglican Church, and I loved it. I loved choir practice too. I still remember singing "Once in Royal David's City" during midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

    I'm glad you're enjoying your music!

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  13. Jo - we used Once in Royal David's City as the bride's processional in our wedding (we were married in December). Lovely!

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  14. Music really is that thing that gets deep beneth our skin and never leaves us.

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