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Subject: Tuning question
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 18 Feb 2018 14:38:13 -0500

text/plain (25 lines)

I just read an article about tuning and wanted to know what the musicians / singers on the list thought about the ideas put forth.  

The contention is that the reason so many folks idealize the singers of the past (roughly those from the 50s and before) is because the tuning 70 years ago was half a note lower and that gave singers greater freedom and vocal flexibility.  These same singers, were they on the stage today, might draw some of the same negative criticism as many current singers.  (not all, of course, because there are always exceptions).

When the tuning went up, some of that flexibility was lost.  The singers can now hit the notes but for many (most) the landing can be tight.

The follow-on is that because the higher tuning creates a brighter sound, then the size of the orchestra has to be increased to bring balance.  With the increase in the size of the orchestra, the singers then have to not only sing at the higher tuning but sing over the larger sized orchestra.

In short, the theory is that the problem with today’s singers is not necessarily today’s singers, but the environment in which they now work with both tuning and orchestral size—the singer’s art has been pressed to make a brighter, more appealing sound from the orchestra.

Thoughts?  Is this hogwash or is there something to this theory?

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