[78-L] Older musicians
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
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)
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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