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Re:The Best Way to learn how to sight read

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  • yewzerble
    ... Most churches have done such a thorough job of ruining the traditional congregational musical skills that, if any singer shows up to help them out, they
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 2, 2008
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      >
      > and prefer your music non-sectarian,
      > no religious proselytising

      Most churches have done such a thorough job of ruining the
      traditional congregational musical skills that, if any singer shows
      up to help them out, they don't ask very many questions about
      belief.

      ...to help them out...
      (in what is after all their main function).

      >
      > Any other sight reading suggestions?
      >

      Barbershop groups.

      Really, I think between church choirs, community colleges, and
      barbershop groups, it's going to depend on personalities more
      than anything else.

      A weakness of academic settings is that the teacher is so focus
      on his/her own career that they don't really train newbies.

      A weakness of church choirs is that, e.g. if short of tenors, any
      incoming men is told "you are really a tenor".

      ( they don't care if you wreck your voice.)

      A weakness of barbershop groups is that they you might get a
      hernia hauling those risers around. A lot of singers aged sixty
      and above --

      "Hey, who wants to help lift eight risers into the pickup truck?"

      (As though the cost of hernia repair is included in the dues.... )

      (it really depends on the group)

      Then there's also shape-note singing, which I've posted about
      here before.

      The purpose of using shapes is to make it easier for ordinary
      people to learn how to sight-read without learning all 12 key
      signatures.

      (All major key songs are "in the key of triangle")

      (If it's the key of F, then F gets the triangle, and C gets the oval)

      (If it's the key of C, then C gets the triangle and G gets the oval).

      Instrumentalists need to know where the "black keys" and "white
      keys" are -- "fingering" , but knowing that the F is sharp doesn't
      help a singer place fingers on the correct positions of the
      pharynx.

      As for the social setting, the advantage of shape note singing is
      that it doesn't require any commitment.

      The disadvantage is that you might be the only person singing
      alto (because none of the other altos felt like coming)

      (can be really terrifying if you're just starting out)

      (it can be even more terrifying if you're really a bass, and there
      aren't any altos.....)

      The other weird thing about shape note is that the songs are all
      religious circa 1844, but at least in California 95% of the singers
      have a sort of "pathos of distance" between their personal
      beliefs and the song texts.

      So, this freaks out conservatives (What are all these unbelievers
      doing here?) and the more rigid atheists and universalists (Why
      don't you change the words?).

      Take your pick.

      The main thing is to sing...

      David
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