Re: Choral singing (Sean Ferguson )

Subject: Re: Choral singing
From:    Sean Ferguson  <ferguson(at)MUSIC.MCGILL.CA>
Date:    Mon, 28 Apr 1997 16:01:45 -0500

I think this might also have to do with the difference between the equal temperament of the piano and the very flexible perfect intonation of a choir. Whereas, for example, the fifths on the piano have all been slightly stretched to make up for the pythagorean comma, in a choir they may be all sung perfectly in tune, which is nevertheless flat in equal temperament. I can remember my old choir director constantly conducting us with his eyebrows to remind us to keep the pitch up. I think the problem he had was that we were singing in tune, whereas he wanted us to sing slightly sharp, so that we wouldn't go flat. Strange if you think about it. Sean Ferguson Doctoral Candidate in Composition McGill University email: ferguson(at) "I believe in an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out." -Arthur Hays Sulzberger Publisher, The New York Times (1935-61) On Fri, 25 Apr 1997, Bill Thompson wrote: > There seems to be a greater tendency for unaccompanied choirs to go > flat than sharp over time. My impression is that this asymmetry is > greater for choirs than for individuals. If so, > > -What factors are involved? > -Is there research on the issue? > > Comments & suggestions appreciated. > > Bill Thompson > > -- > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ > W.F. Thompson > Department of Psychology > Atkinson College > York University > North York, Ontario > M3J 1P3 > > Ph: (416) 736-5202 >

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