Mudcat Café message #1057199 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #64600   Message #1057199
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
19-Nov-03 - 04:11 PM
Thread Name: Falsetto
Subject: Falsetto
This should be a real short thread. At the Black and White Gospel workshop I did recently, I pointed out that falsetto is a common style of singing in black gospel (and rhythmn and blues.) Some singers, like Clyde Jeter of the Swan Silvertones, flowed so smoothly between his normal tenor voice and his falsetto that it was hard to hear where he switched. When I commented that I don't ever remember hearing falsetto in a group singing white gospel, several people protested, saying they know "hundreds" of white gospel recordings where someone sings falsetto. I've got a large collection of traditional folk music and white gospel, and I don't believe I have a single recording of either American traditional folk or white gospel with someone singing falsetto.

I asked the people to give me a f'rinstance, and nobody could. I wondered if they were just confusing falsetto with that high "mountain" tenor you hear in bluegrass and the old folk songs from Southern United States. Falsetto isn't deteremined by pitch. I don't even know how it happens, technically speaking (I'm sure someone here does..) I know singing falsetto is a gift, because mine is very unreliable.

Now, I do know that falsetto is used in yodeling, so it's not completely "foreign" to these shores. But falsetto in white gospel?
Anybody have a recording that you're SHURE is falsetto and not just that high "mountain tenor?

Jerry