Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Some lighter reading: "Happy Trails to You" was a great surprise to me

I actually wrote this post several months ago, but I wasn't sure how appropriate it was to publish such light fare in the middle of a pandemic.  But at this point, I could use a break, and maybe you can, too.

Hear here.

Yes, I'd listened to my father's recording of Marian Anderson, a contralto, many times.  But somehow, it didn't register with me until I heard this tenor and alto couple singing together that what I'd always been taught as a child--that women's voices are higher than mens'--simply wasn't always true.  In this song, Dale almost always sings lower than Roy.

It took a good while for me to realize that my own voice was closer to Dale's than to the voices of most other female singers whom I'd heard.

I started improvising harmony when I was about 11 or 12 years old.  Basically, it was--and still is--often the only way that I could/can sing with other people.  I've been known to joke that harmony is one of the things that HaShem created right before Shabbat, :), and that I sing harmony in self-defense.  :)

One of my biggest challenges in leading just about any singing at our synagogue [back in the good old days]--be it tefillah (prayer), z'mirot (Sabbath songs), or Birkat HaMazon (Grace After Meals)--is singing lead.  Wish me luck finding a key that both I and the other congregants can sing in. (Yep, there she goes, "singing in the subway" again.)  I try to take cues regarding what key to choose from my tenor husband, but we've been looking for a key that's good for both of us for over 42 43 years and we haven't found one yet.  :)


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