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Is harmony for wimps?

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Cool Beans 25 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Hatty at Home Laboratories 25 Sep 06 - 01:01 PM
GUEST 25 Sep 06 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Hatty at Home Laboratories 25 Sep 06 - 01:04 PM
Les in Chorlton 25 Sep 06 - 01:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Sep 06 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,Mike Miller 26 Sep 06 - 12:07 AM
Bert 26 Sep 06 - 01:24 AM
Splott Man 26 Sep 06 - 03:53 AM
Scrump 26 Sep 06 - 04:02 AM
Tim theTwangler 26 Sep 06 - 04:06 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Sep 06 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,AR 26 Sep 06 - 07:07 AM
Scrump 26 Sep 06 - 08:29 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM
Mo the caller 26 Sep 06 - 09:20 AM
Scoville 26 Sep 06 - 09:23 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 06 - 09:33 AM
Herga Kitty 26 Sep 06 - 09:07 PM
stallion 27 Sep 06 - 01:39 PM
Herga Kitty 27 Sep 06 - 07:51 PM
Herga Kitty 27 Sep 06 - 08:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 06 - 03:17 PM
Magic Gillian 30 Sep 06 - 06:53 AM
melodeonboy 30 Sep 06 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,lox 30 Sep 06 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Surreysinger (who's lost her cookie for a b 30 Sep 06 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,DaringDiva 25 Oct 06 - 06:14 AM
Genie 25 Oct 06 - 10:37 AM
Pistachio 25 Oct 06 - 11:08 AM
Dave Wynn 25 Oct 06 - 12:12 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 06 - 12:28 PM
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Subject: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM

Never mind why, but I've had to listen to (American) college football songs. It has dawned on me that (A) they tend to be sung by male choruses and (B) the men all sing only the melody, no harmony.
Does singing just the melody make a song sound more purposeful? These are purposeful songs (along the lines of "We're going to win this game"). Does the cooperation implicit in harmonizing go against this single-mindedness? Harmony is fine for college alma maters, which are essentially love songs, but not for fight songs?
What do we think?


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST,Hatty at Home Laboratories
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 01:01 PM

I'll go and watch my Dad's "Zulu" DVD
and investigate any harmonising in the battle chants.

Though I may need to be aware of historical inaccuracy
when analysing the cinematic rendition of

"Men of Harlech"


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 01:02 PM

Try asking a crowd of welsh rugby supporters if their singing in harmony makes them wimps.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST,Hatty at Home Laboratories
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 01:04 PM

BTW, I'm Harry's sister.

He's still grounded after setting fire to the livibg room carpet
while conducting his "Twin Towers" conspiracy experiment.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 01:10 PM

Lets start the "Free the Hatty" campaigne straight away.

Chant now and come to Manchester.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 11:23 PM

Any tone deaf wannabe loser can sing "lead" (or play it for that matter),
but you do need some musical talent and training to handle harmony.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST,Mike Miller
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:07 AM

In the US, fight songs are, usually, sung by the students and fans and they are not all prone to blend. Alma Mater type songs are, often, done by the choruses and boast harmony aplenty. My son-in-law, when he was an undergrad at Washington Univ. in St Louis, sang with the svhool's famed mens chorus, The Pikers. I have heard, and reviewed, two of their CD's and I would have been impressed, even without the family connection. Almost all schools have choruses and glee clubs. Those folks who want to sing harmony have ample opportunity to do so.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 01:24 AM

but you do need some musical talent and training to handle harmony.

and a healthy dose of egotism *BIG GRIN*


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Splott Man
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:53 AM

I can sing harmony, and nobody has suggested I'm talented yet.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Scrump
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 04:02 AM

but you do need some musical talent and training to handle harmony

Either that or a limited vocal range ;-)

When singing lead myself I sing in a key that suits my own vocal range, but when singing along with someone else (who has chosen a key that suits them, the selfish &!%$£*! ;-)) I often sing harmony because I can't reach either the high or the low notes, depending on the key or the range required by the song.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 04:06 AM

Well well harmony on the mudcat?
Who would have ever thought it?
LOL harmony is not straight forward is it?
Luckily as I am usualy singign me own songs other people do the clever stuff like harmonies to make me sound good(even better?)


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 04:13 AM

'Try asking a crowd of welsh rugby supporters if their singing in harmony makes them wimps.'

Mind you - you can't edge from someone in a scrum. And its too late then if you suspect the bloke next to you of singing falsetto


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST,AR
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 07:07 AM

Harmony/polyphony implies heirarchy, which in turn could could suggest disunity. Monophony implies unity.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Scrump
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 08:29 AM

Not sure I agree that harmony implies hierarchy as stated above. The parts of a harmony could be equally ranked.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM

But the harmony exists to SERVE the melody!


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:20 AM

When someone else is singing melody and several people put in their idea of 'harmony' what's to stop it becoming discord?


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Scoville
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:23 AM

Probably because football teams tend to be all-male and because they're really there to play football, not show off their vocal skills?

I always sort of thought football songs were in the same category as "Happy Birthday"--the point of them is in getting everyone stirred up, not in musical artistry. Having to worry too much about arrangement sort of takes the punch out of it.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:33 AM

When someone else is singing melody and several people put in their idea of 'harmony' what's to stop it becoming discord?

What's inherently wrong with 'discord' anyway? And what's inherently good about 'harmony'?
Perhaps for another thread.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:07 PM

Depends on the harmony for a particular song? Can be twee and fey (for wimps) or have real oomph and guts (not for wimps). Not to mention composed or instinctive...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: stallion
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 01:39 PM

well I never, does it matter? This smacks of some sort of elitism "I can, therefore I will slag off those that can't". MMMMMMMMMM songs are to be sung by people, whatever, the point is to enjoy doing it. If your a listener why are you not singing? ( If you have been trained or are so good) As a piece of social anthropology it might be a worthwhile area to study, however, I suspect it is not!


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 07:51 PM

Hurray, hurray! It's a long time since I heard Middlesbrough being described as Yorkshire (by MCP) as opposed to Teesside or Cleveland.

IBO - have you heard the Wilsons? (Who sing in harmony, and are not wimps.)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 08:13 PM

I think the Wilsons still run a club in Wolviston.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 03:17 PM

I suppose the thing is that - its a sort of dilution of identity in order to present a artistic statement powerfully. Bach's Mass, or the Beach Boys, The Watersons even - although they always seem full of personality.

to me though, there is nothing more beautiful than certain voices which would surely be impossible to harmonise with - because they are so full of personality.

Howlin Wolf's Smokestack Lightnin'
Hoyt Axton, George Jones or Johnny Cash rumbling through any one of a hundred country songs.
George Formby

Its a choice thing, and you don't really have to choose to appreciate both.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Magic Gillian
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 06:53 AM

I do harmony singing and I'm not a wimp. None of the people in my band are either. In fact I'd go so far as to say that we're pretty hard. Although one of my band members is scared of wasps. I think it takes more guts to go for a harmony line than it does to sing the tune. You either enhance a song or completely ruin it.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 07:07 AM

Talking of the Wilsons, I saw them ages ago (probably early 90s) at the Gower Festival. I thought they were fantastic.

Have they got any performances/gigs lined up within reach of Mid-Kent? I'd really like to see them again.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 07:08 AM

I would hardly describe eva cassidy as being particularly macho -

In fact I believe it would take the most thuggish of brutes to even consider the crime of harmonizing to her.

no rules apply as I see it - depends on the song artist and context.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST,Surreysinger (who's lost her cookie for a b
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 08:46 AM

Surprised to see harmony described as hierarchical - the word itself suggests otherwise! And it certainly ain't for wimps - a well thought out harmony line can (as already said) heighten a song - or an ill considered one can destroy it (again already said). The point about singing harmony (which can also encompass singing crunchy discords - if something makes you uncomfortable it can make you concentrate on uncomfortable lyrics) is that those doing it have to listen to and consider what the other singers are doing - otherwise it's never going to work anyway.... so everyone's got to pull together for it to be effective. So - no hierarchy (apart from the fact that in choral singing altos are ace, and sopranos get the easy bits ....hmm, any guesses which I am??)


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST,DaringDiva
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 06:14 AM

I don't think so...Especially for those Welsh rugby people you spoke of. the Welsh are renoun for their singing talent, and ability to pick out natural harmony with ease. Personally, I think singing MELODY is for whimps


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Genie
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:37 AM

When a bunch of people try to sing in unison and some of them are a bit "pitch-challenged," what's to stop it from becoming discord?

BTW, for those who turn their noses up at "harmony," why use chords on piano, guitar, etc., instead of just playing the melody?


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Pistachio
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 11:08 AM

As the fifth of five children I discovered that I could use harmony to join in yet be different!
Thanks to my Dad for having classical music on all the time and Mum for taking me to church I've heard enough notes to let me create 'my own tunes' almost automatically.
I'm unaware if I chose what might be considered 'correct' notes as I don't read music - and it would be good to get constructive criticism. I frequently use the 'same type' of harmony and might gain from a 'real' musicians input ... and guidance.

"Is harmony for wimps?" - I think not - I'm just glad it's available!
H.


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 12:12 PM

I have heard the argument that harmony was not used in shanties. I have also heard that some serious shanty persons frown on harmony (no name or pack drill here). But my take on this is listen to Jolly Jack - Rolling Down to Old Maui. It would take a brave person to accuse any of Jolly Jack of being wimps.!!

Spot the Dog


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Subject: RE: Is harmony for wimps?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 12:28 PM

When I was a little girl of 6 or 7, I had heard my parents singing with Daddy on melody & Mother harmonizing. One day when we were all in the stationwagon riding through the Rockies, Daddy started singing a song, so I joined in with the harmony. I was immediately filled with awe--at the lovely sound! I had no thought of myself, but instead was convinced that when I was singing the harmony line with the melody a magical music fairy-or something like that-must have turned our combined voices into a special sound of beauty.
I still prefer to sing or play harmony. To me, being part of a Music ensemble is always more fun than singing or playing alone--onstage or off.
Some people are intimidated by harmony, therefore they put it down or or the person singing it. Few ever put down harmony which is instrumental, it's usually singing harmony which is more difficult. Dare to be different! Strive to learn more & get out of your rut!   
Become a better Musician and ask a fellow Musician to assist you. If you are really that intimidated by your talented fellows, ask a youngster to teach you the harmony part to a song. Most kids are terrific teachers because as a kid they are used to being corrected & learning new things, so they do not judge us as they teach us things. They also appreciate that a grown up respects them enough to ask them for help.
Instead of fussin' do somethin' to be a better Musician today!


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