[78-L] Older musicians

Kristjan Saag saag at telia.com.invalid
Sat Apr 4 11:58:17 PDT 2015

Thanks all of you for interesting thoughts!
What I'm after is not only the difficulties that come with age, but 
primarily: what methods musicians have used to counteract them.
Adjusting the key downwards for singers is one example that has been 
mentioned. The Patti trick is hilarious, but probably not for everyone 
to use.
Holding the violin against the chest is practised by old time music 
fiddle players, because it's easier. I wonder if that's used by (older) 
concert violinists.
One interesting example is Joni Mitchell, whose voice has changed and no 
longer is able to produce the high trills that she used on long notes. 
She has replaced this modulation with increase of volume, which is very 
effective. Other singers have tried to lay more stress on articulation 
and phrasing, sometimes producing good results, sometimes unable to hide 
the fact that they can't sing any more.
There are also singing techniques that have been used by actors without 
great voice capacities. Jimmy Durante and Walter Huston are good 
examples: using their ability to dramatize the text with odd 
accentuations. Or singers who have adjusted their performance according 
to medical inconveniences: Whispering Jack Smith.
I'm sure there's much more to be said about these things.

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