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Posted 09 June 2017 - 21:35
Ah, thank you! I'm just rather besotted by the Chris Rupp arrangement for Home Free (not barbershop though!).
Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:29
I'm a complete atheist, always have been, but to me music is spiritual.
I have a soft spot for Christmas carols - that was gorgeous Cyrilla. I guess because it was the only exposure I really got to classical music as a little kid until starting the piano, parents didn't listen to it, PC schools so very little in the way of traditional stuff in assembly etc. I do have to grit my teeth a bit (metaphorically) to sing the more excessively religious words in carols, but I think of it as a general appreciation of life and something larger than ourselves. That's true of all music, whether expressly religious or not though.
Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:25
May I chip in? First of all, huge thanks to the OP for actually raising a thread in this section. Viva Voice is usually a barren wilderness.
I find it sad that any agnostic or atheist friends are uncomfortable with singing sacred music. It's probably more to do with the other folk doing the singing, and their attitude, than the words themselves. After all, when I sing "A wand'ring minstrel", I don't believe I am a minstrel! Thinking about this theme, and our current repertoire, I have realised that about half of what we are preparing at the moment is in Latin, and most of our members are not familiar with the meanings of the lyrics.
Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:03
Stetenorve, you are welcome!
You are right, it is partially about the attitudes of other singers and, certainly in one case, the attitude of the choir director.
The more I think about it, the more complex my dilemma seems to become. I don't have a problem singing popular carols or traditional Christmas songs, maybe because I see them as part of the culture I grew up in. I am more comfortable with the Latin because I can regard it as nonsense syllables, even though I know what the words mean. I can reinterpret the spirituals in the light of the slaves' experiences and the coded messages they contain.
However, I am quite 'method' in my approach to performance (I do a lot of am dram) and I DO really get into feeling the part I am playing, so maybe that is why I feel so uncomfortable.
Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:31
I don't have a problem with singing religious songs, I just don't want to sing that kind of music most of the time.
Having sung barbershop for so long it seems quite strange singing songs about being joyful, or whatever, in the church choir, and looking round at the expressionless faces of everyone else.
Sylvette, I think you were made for barbershop. Get yourself to a chorus!
Posted 13 June 2017 - 22:26
Glad you liked the arrangement of 'Angels', BrokenChordsGirl - it's one of my favourites of Chris's arrangements and I listen to it all year round
He's also done a really beautiful 'Away in a Manger' and his brother has arranged an amazing version of 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' Drop me a PM if you'd like the links.
Posted 15 June 2017 - 07:55
When my choirs do religious music, I tell them that I am not expecting them to believe anything they don't believe, but that I am expecting them to think about the words and sing with suitable expression. Certain events in the bible are very tragic, or joyous, or dramatic, and can be sung as such, whether you believe the religious aspects or not.