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 Post subject: Singing at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:04 am 
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Today at church we sang Salve Regina (simple tone). This was done without organ accompaniment. The cantor who led the singing was male (with a low voice I assume). He sang it in Bb which is yoo low for congregational singing. Why do some men (even if trained) have a tendency to sing low when singing without an accompaninent? Why do even trained singers have this problem? I myself often end up starting too high (at lest when warmed up). What is going on?
I have heard some people saying that a tenor should be able to sing a bit lower than Bb2. I, as a tenor, find that Bb2 is my lowest note. If I am warmed-up B2 is sometimes my lowest note.
Am I just a "weird" tenor since I can't sing lower than Bb2? All other tenors find Bb2 an easy note so the cantor choose to sing low? I am the only person who find Bb2 a difficult note?


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:04 am 
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Better a low voice than a “Sandi Patti” tremolo soprano, which we get all too often. They all sound like fingernails on a chalkboard and drive me totally up a wall. Getting back in focus on the Mass afterwards takes me forever.

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:20 am 
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You'll get complaints about "it's too high" a lot more readily than "that was too low." So most people will pick a starting note such that, if it's wrong, it's too low rather than too high.

Bb2 is a little low for a tenor. My voice has shifted down with age, but when I was able to sing high tenor notes, I could get down to G2, maybe F#2 on a really good day, but I wouldn't expect everyone to be able to do that.

Nevertheless, for congregational singing in a hymn with a wide range, I wouldn't object to that Bb (which is a Bb3 for the congregation).

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:01 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You'll get complaints about "it's too high" a lot more readily than "that was too low." So most people will pick a starting note such that, if it's wrong, it's too low rather than too high.

Bb2 is a little low for a tenor. My voice has shifted down with age, but when I was able to sing high tenor notes, I could get down to G2, maybe F#2 on a really good day, but I wouldn't expect everyone to be able to do that.

Nevertheless, for congregational singing in a hymn with a wide range, I wouldn't object to that Bb (which is a Bb3 for the congregation).

At what pitch do people start to complain?
I have been told a batitone shouod be able to sing at least up to Eb4. Do those who complain really care about singing? I mean, it seems that those who never sing at all unless at church are the people who complain about high notes. Should we really sing low just because of some lazy people? Those lazy people have to sing during the week as well and sing with more projection.
Who are the people who complain? Do people who know how to sing complain?
Are we singing low at church due to the fact that we have many very untrained singers at church? Is that the reason?
Am I weird if I cant sing below Bb2?
Also, they always sing lower when singing without accompaniment. Men must have weird low voices and cant find the higher notes unless having an accompaniment. Even trained sibgers need accompaniment or they will sing too low. This is strange as they should know how to not sing too low. I don't agree with the idea that singing very low is good. I think people sound bettee when singing higher. Why this strange ideal?


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:31 am 
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Why the obsession with singing higher, when the lower registers are much more melodic and pleasing to the ear? Let it go, friend. Don’t be part of the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:35 am 
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ingenting wrote:
Today at church we sang Salve Regina (simple tone). This was done without organ accompaniment. The cantor who led the singing was male (with a low voice I assume). He sang it in Bb which is yoo low for congregational singing. Why do some men (even if trained) have a tendency to sing low when singing without an accompaninent? Why do even trained singers have this problem? I myself often end up starting too high (at lest when warmed up). What is going on?
I have heard some people saying that a tenor should be able to sing a bit lower than Bb2. I, as a tenor, find that Bb2 is my lowest note. If I am warmed-up B2 is sometimes my lowest note.
Am I just a "weird" tenor since I can't sing lower than Bb2? All other tenors find Bb2 an easy note so the cantor choose to sing low? I am the only person who find Bb2 a difficult note?


Interesting. How did you know it was in Bb? Did you see the sheet music or are you just that darn good?

I have a similar problem in my parish. One of the tones is written way too high for the average singer. I can get to the top note in it, but as lead cantor, I have transposed it down about four steps. Makes much easier singing.

The other annoyance I have in our very small (like 25 people on a Sunday) parish is that NO ONE knows the tones. Not even the handful of old-timers. I don't like chanting alone because this is not a performance, it is a "litourgia", a work of the people, and the people should be involved.


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:05 am 
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Mrs. Timmy wrote:
Why the obsession with singing higher, when the lower registers are much more melodic and pleasing to the ear? Let it go, friend. Don’t be part of the problem.

I am not the problem. I have never forced anyone to sing very low.


Last edited by ingenting on Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:09 am 
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Light of the East wrote:
ingenting wrote:
Today at church we sang Salve Regina (simple tone). This was done without organ accompaniment. The cantor who led the singing was male (with a low voice I assume). He sang it in Bb which is yoo low for congregational singing. Why do some men (even if trained) have a tendency to sing low when singing without an accompaninent? Why do even trained singers have this problem? I myself often end up starting too high (at lest when warmed up). What is going on?
I have heard some people saying that a tenor should be able to sing a bit lower than Bb2. I, as a tenor, find that Bb2 is my lowest note. If I am warmed-up B2 is sometimes my lowest note.
Am I just a "weird" tenor since I can't sing lower than Bb2? All other tenors find Bb2 an easy note so the cantor choose to sing low? I am the only person who find Bb2 a difficult note?


Interesting. How did you know it was in Bb? Did you see the sheet music or are you just that darn good?

I have a similar problem in my parish. One of the tones is written way too high for the average singer. I can get to the top note in it, but as lead cantor, I have transposed it down about four steps. Makes much easier singing.

The other annoyance I have in our very small (like 25 people on a Sunday) parish is that NO ONE knows the tones. Not even the handful of old-timers. I don't like chanting alone because this is not a performance, it is a "litourgia", a work of the people, and the people should be involved.

I knew the pitch since I have an app on my phone that tells me the pitch. Also, I felt that it was below C.

Anyway, at what pitch do people start to complain? And what kind of people are complaining?
Is it better for me to sing at other places than church since most peopke at church dont even train their voices?

And am I the only man who think it is low keys at Mass?


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:19 am 
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Again, and as the good Father and Brother concurred above, people complain about the pitch being too high, not too low. It does appear that you are in the minority in this one. Sorry, friend.

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:35 am 
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Mrs. Timmy wrote:
Again, and as the good Father and Brother concurred above, people complain about the pitch being too high, not too low. It does appear that you are in the minority in this one. Sorry, friend.

What we seem to have here is: what suits most people let us have it. Is this how the Church think about Liturgy? Make most people sing and then we are good.
So if we have 100 people and only 1 is not singing we have no problem? I mean, human dignity has nothing to do with maths in my opinion and Church teachings.
I am really serious. I am actually if traditions are about making most people satisfied. I often experience that people who are different often can have a hard time fitting at church unless we were very good at a certain skill.
What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:42 am 
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I think you're being awfully demanding that everyone do things your way.

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:53 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I think you're being awfully demanding that everyone do things your way.

How do you mean? Do you have any tips on how I can start to belong somewhere? I often feel like an outsider.
I have difficulties with the social world. "Normal" people seem to want us "not normal" people to become like them. I should be able to be myself at church. Traditions are for those normals. Even at Mass am I supposed to be like most people, ie the normals. I get frustrated and dont think Jesus wouod approve. I dont wanna try to be normal. Most people sing low so let those without low voice sing low. I find this strange.
What to do?


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:23 am 
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ingenting wrote:
I should be able to be myself at church.

Should other people be able to be themselves at church?

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:25 am 
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Any time a group of people get together to sing, it's nearly impossible to find a key that works for everyone. All you can do is find a key that works for most.

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:09 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I think you're being awfully demanding that everyone do things your way.


Ah hah......Father, I've got a small newsflash for you. In any well-run Eastern Catholic or Orthodox parish, the CANTOR sets the tone and the people FOLLOW.

In other words, my way or the highway (or.....don't sing).

I have seen more than one instance where a cantor had to up his volume to sing over someone and get the whole congregation on tone and going in the right direction.


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:12 am 
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As long as your relative pitch is good, what difference does it make what key someone else is singing in?

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:39 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
ingenting wrote:
I should be able to be myself at church.

Should other people be able to be themselves at church?

Yes but...people who never practice singing shouldn't complain about high notes..they shouod be told the truth: learning to sing requiers practice!
Same applies to social skills or what to do at Mass.


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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:29 am 
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They complain because they want to sing with, and they want to sing with because they want to express their love of God.

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:44 am 
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I'm a basso profundo and proud of it. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Singing at church
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:53 am 
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ingenting, you’re a time machine transporting me to the days when I had to endure the rants of my ex-husband. “Everyone has a right to my opinion,” “If I can do it, anyone can do it” (without regard for God-given talent - or lack thereof), and “Disagreement = betrayal.” Not a pleasant place to be taken.

I tell people that my first marriage ended over religious differences: he thought he was God, and I didn’t.

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