Monday, February 09, 2009

Untrained melody

The spiel for this BBC audio slide show on the Soweto Gospel choir describes the choir members as "untrained singers". They sing in (four part?) harmony, they've won two Grammies, they accompany their songs with choreographed dances, and a good number of them have probably been singing their whole lives. But they are "untrained". They were not taught to sing scales by an elderly caucasian with spectacles and an English accent. What other kind of training could there be?

Which reminds me, Youtube has the entirety of the movie Amandla, a documentary about music under apartheid in South Africa. (It's even legal.) It features some people with amazing voices, probably similarly "untrained".

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