Singing at home


We have an informal agreement in the Berkeley singing: if you want to pitch your own song, or if you want to try pitching, we will all be supportive and will be kind to you as you learn how to pitch. Of course it is in the best interests of all of us to have as many people as possible who are adept at pitching songs. But it is also a reflection of our identity as a singing: we like to think of ourselves as friendly and welcoming, and supportive of ongoing learning.

As a result, quite a few singers have, at various times, worked on pitching their own songs. (Even I have done it, when I have had to lead a call-back song and the regular pitcher was not back yet.) But some singers work at it more than the rest of us. Joanne, for example, has been pitching her own songs for a while now, and she is getting pretty good at it.

Tonight, Joanne called #472 “Akin,” a tune which has to be pitched somewhat low to accommodate tenors who have to sing a high G sung in mm. 4 and 12-13 — but as a bass I can tell you that sometimes the tune gets pitched so low that we basses can’t get much volume on the low G we have to sing in m. 5. It’s one of those tunes that is difficult to get exactly right.

Joanne got it exactly right. We basses could sing that low G so that you could actually hear us. The tenors hit their high notes. And the rest of the class sounded fabulous. When the tune was over, we were all smiling.

I love that we are willing to support each other, and I love it when that support and hard work pays off so nicely.

2 replies on “Pitching”

Hi Dan! I’m just discovering your blog after you posted your link on the listserv.

This post made me smile, because we trebles joke that if WE are comfortable, we know the basses are probably suffering, and vice versa. There are some songs where it seems to be a physical impossibility to find a pitch that does not cause pain to one part or the other. The right pitch simply causes *equal* discomfort for the treble and basses.

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