Posted by: thebylog | August 10, 2005

Musical Technicalities and Tap2’s First Program

Standard pitch pipe operating procedure is to blow the tone that corresponds to the key signature the song is written in. If a song is in F, blow an F and everybody gets their starting notes from that. But sometimes it seems like people blow other pitches if it is perceived to be easier to start. For instance, if a song is in F but the altos start by themselves on a C, some people might blow the C to give them a little help. But the musically excellent groups don’t do that, according to our director.

But what if a song is a minor? Then what appears to be the key of F is really the key of D-minor. So our director, in such cases, blows the D instead of the F and that means if I start on the F I have to find it from the D. It’s harder than it might seem. It’s easy for me to sing a major third (2 steps) without humming if I’m given the root, but a minor third (1.5 steps) is a lot harder.

Tonight was the choir’s first program and it was typical of opening nights. Some really nice spots but plenty of roughness too. The big goof was starting a song wrong and ending up, after flailing for a good 10 seconds, about a step and a half down but with the song intact. Director blows the minor root, and mass musical confusion results.

We recovered, and probably half of the audience didn’t know anything was wrong.

It was a big crowd and there were lots of familiar faces in it. It’s always fun to sing to big crowds.



  1. *Laughs* I’m part of the half who didn’t know anything was wrong.

    Great program. I was very blessed.

    To all of you faithful by-loggers out there– if Tap2 comes to your area, don’t miss going to hear them. And By is wrong– the first five songs do not put you to sleep. You’ll enjoy them, I think :). (Unless you resemble my brother who vehemently dislikes songs which are written in Latin. If you are like him, you may be slightly bored.)


  2. I wouldn’t say I’m vehemently against Latin songs, some of them ARE fun to sing, but I don’t get much out of the lyrics.

    The Baritone

  3. By, please tell my brother Titus B. “Hi” for us and also tell him we miss him around here. I hope everything turned out okay with his little accident. Anyway, please tell him we’re thinking about him. Y’all have a good time singing together.


  4. I woundn’t miss it if they came out this way. It would be great if Tap2 came out west to Kansas. Oasis was here (director is a Kansasan) and they were thoroughly enjoyed. Your director has an aunt in this community…so maybe that would be an incentive. Fine choral music is much appreciated out here, but for some reason Easteners think of Kansas as “in-the-middle-of-nowhere” I hope the remainder of the tour goes well for you all.

  5. Where all does Tap 2 go on their tour??? I’m hoping for Plain City or something…. 🙂

  6. Their itinerary is here. They were in Hartville on Thurs.

  7. Ilearned to appreciate Latin songs when I sang with SVCS one year. We did Charles Gounod’s Messe Solennelle (St. Cecilia Mass).

    Latin does bear a striking resemblance to the English language though (Go figure, huh–since many of our words either are Latin, or are derived from it.),and I didn’t encounter great difficulty deciphering the meaning of the lyrics.The music for Messe Solennelle is beautiful too (or maybe I just think that because it has plenty of high spots in it, and being a first soprano, I delight in that).

    I think if you expend just a little extra effort you can get just as much or more out of Latin songs as opposed to English (That’s merely my personal opinion. Nothing against you Mr. Baritone.:) I know some people just do not really care for them). I also think that early Anabaptists deprived themselves of much beautiful music in their attempt to distance themselves from the Catholic church and return to the glorious days of first century Christianity.

    Oh,I should mention that I’m also one of those boring people who actually enjoy Gregorian Chants.=)


  8. Delia, I am a Mennonite that still finds much in the Catholic faith that is strong and benificial, although I find much of this in the earlier history of the church long before the reformation.

    I also like the Gregorian Chants. Along with Latin singing.

  9. Aww, I wish I’d have known!! I might have gone!!!

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