Many opera critics say that if a singer (such as Andrea Bocelli) needs a microphone to sound good then they’re not an authentic, great opera singer. But is that fair and reasonable criterion?
Why are volume and the ability to project over an orchestra valued so highly?
I’d much prefer to hear a musical, beautiful and amplified voice than a loud, less musical voice. And if amplification makes it easier to sound good, hell, why not? What’s the big deal about volume and amplification?
The public loves Bocelli and he’s made a lot of money, but the critics generally pan him. For example, see this New York Times review, where the critic says, “The critic’s duty is to report that Mr. Bocelli is not a very good singer. The tone is rasping, thin and, in general, poorly supported. Even the most modest upward movement thins it even more, signaling what appears to be the onset of strangulation.” See also Is Andrea Bocelli an Opera Singer? and the comments at the bottom therein.
When Bocellis uses a microphone is his voice beautiful? Being able to project the voice above an orchestra is impressive, sure, but beautiful tone and interpretation are more important.
About 20 years ago I had an idea for a piano with a black key between each white key. The piano keys would look like the second set in the image below. The advantages of such a piano are
To play a piece in a different key, one need only shift one’s hands to the right or left.
To play a standard, old style piano, one has to learn 12 different fingerings — one for each note in the scale. With the new style piano, one would have to learn just two different fingerings: for the white keys and for the black keys.
The piano would result in a larger hand span: one full note extra in the span of a user’s hand from the thumb to the little finger.
A disadvantage is that a major scale in the key of C would no longer involve just the white keys. That disadvantage is minor compared to the convenience of needing to learn just two fingerings and the ability to switch keys by shifting to the right or left.
Beginners would more quickly master such a piano, I believe. Pianists accustomed to old style pianos would have to learn the new fingerings.
It’s a rather obvious idea. Why haven’t instrument makers adopted it?
Unfortunately, a patent search in the European Patent Office showed that a Chinese inventor, Yu Shusen, already patented such a keyboard in China (patent number CN201117227). According to this, the patent has expired. This demonstrates that I should have taken the initiative and filed a patent 20 years ago. Trust and value yourself.
Please join us Saturday night (the 27th at 7-pm) in Seattle for a great music performance for the benefit of Seattle Veterans For Peace. with Jim Page and Tom Neilson.
Veterans For Peace 92 Fundraising Concert
Saturday, July 27th, 7:00 PM
University Temple United Methodist Church, Fireside Room
1415 NE 43rd St. (at 15th Ave NE), Seattle
(free validated parking at University Bookstore across the street)
VFP chapter 92 has done historic things; they just need a couple thousand bucks each year for the costs of printing, transportation, permits, and so forth. For example 30-40 of them march in the rightwing Auburn veterans day parade, get rained with insults and blocked by city officials (they sued and won the right to march in the parade last year.) They counter recruiters in schools, organize marches several times a year, build alliances with other races and groups like Nickelsville homeless encampments, free bradley manning, etc. So please chuck your $15 in the basket and have a good time, Saturday!!!!!! note free parking. note. if you don’t have $15, come anyway. I want to see you there!! Here’s some highlights of these awesome VFP concerts in Seattle in past years.
Over my dead body: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kokHkOBroYo
Last of the Abraham Lincoln Brigades http://vimeo.com/17551196
When Johnny comes Marchin Home http://vimeo.com/11125871
Go to VFP92.org and click on Brown Paper Tickets. Or pay at the door… Call 206-499-0226 for any questions.
Award-Winning Activist Songwriters FRIDAY April 12, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Kenyon Hall in West Seattle
7904 35th Ave SW – Seattle, WA 98126
Tickets $12 – $15 advance purchase discounts available Reservations @ (206) 937-3613 or email@example.com