Tonight’s issue of A Flat Major goes out to a Victorian Chorale colleague who was involved in a serious accident on Monday. Our prayers and thoughts are with Ken.
The Wolffster has spent the best part of nearly two weeks in bed sick. Three visits to the Doctors’ could not diagnose what exactly was wrong. But this has had a much greater fallout with a performance and various other engagements missed. So without further adieu, The Wolffster gives you tonight’s issue.
A Cappella music is best thought of as religious or sacred music with voices. The distinguishing factor is that it is a voices only genre. That’s right, the music in its’ best known form does not encompass the usage of instruments. In popular culture A Cappella music is best thought of in terms of the hit television series Glee. Singers of mixed voice types, blend together with intricate harmonies to create rich renditions of popular songs.
So what can A Cappella music teach musicians? That is simple, it can teach us a multitude of different, important stylstic elements for our playing.
Voice, primarily speaking is considered to be the original instrument. That means that all other instruments should be subservient to the inner voice of the musician playing. Often, you will hear masters of an instrument talk about an inner voice. This is what they are talking about. Primarily, you should be able to sing the part that you are playing. By doing this, a musician gives more scope to the material on the page.
Scope and musicality, give a player much more expression. There is a depth to the human voice that is almost beyond expression. To reach this level of expression through an instrument requires constant honing of the inner musical voice. And this is achieved through a mixture of singing and solid instrumental practice.
I will leave you with two great examples of A Cappella music by a group called the Blanks. They are best known for their often starring role in the hit comedy show Scrubs.
Kamien, R, 2000, Music an Appreciation, 7th edn, McGraw Hill, Sydney.