Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Memories of Thirds

When I was growing up, yeah, opera was on in the background a lot, but not always, and not so much as I got older. Older, meaning, like 10 or 11. However, there was always singing. My mother wasn't classically trained, but she could (and still can) carry a tune AND she could take any tune and sing a third higher to make harmonies. We used to sing together all the time - not opera, actually, mostly popular music. I remember singing, I Will Survive in the car pretty much at the top of our lungs. Who hasn't? But how many people sing it in thirds with their mother?

I was a Beatles freak growing up. And have you ever noticed, many Beatles songs have harmonies sung in thirds? So I listened carefully and learned all the harmonies. I taught myself the harmonies in thirds for their songs that don't have them. It was easy because it was something my mom I and did all the time. I mean, sometimes you can find it in another instrument, or they do it in one verse and you can apply it to the others, like here. I figured anyone could do it. Some of their songs are too low for me, and they used to be too high an octave above, so thirds were perfect for me. It actually comes in handy, to be able to sing the harmonies for all their songs. In college I had a friend who was more of a Beatles nut than I was. So in the car (where else?) we'd sing - she'd sing the melodies and I'd sing the harmonies. We sounded pretty good together! It got to the point where I couldn't sing the melodies for many of their songs. Then, once I started studying voice, I realized that an octave higher for those too-low songs was actually... easy. So then I taught myself the melodies again. Only now I have trouble remembering all the words... ah well... Incidentally I also blame The Beatles for my previous singing habits of holding out the consonants. <--That link is great for the harmonies too. Consonant holding here too. And I want to point out that this post is taking me forever because I am listening to too many Beatles songs on YouTube AND while getting lost in the chain of related videos I discovered an entire genre of music videos done in Lego.

I originally was going to embed this one, but after watching it I realized that I don't really want that here on the blog... ha! Plus y'all know I favor the girltini menu.

So I'm embedding this one instead. I might have posted it before, and if so, here it is again.

No comments: