Friday, August 28, 2009

The Cocteau Twins, singing

Lately I've started to get into the Cocteau Twins. I have a CD of their singles and EPs, and it's very nice music, but there are limitations: although they have nice voices they really only sing one or two notes. This is something that makes the most sense to people who have studied chorus or music theory in some way. You see, I can vary my voice a lot in speaking, but the tone of my voice stays relatively the same. It's not singing. Singing, real singing, is where you intentionally go beyond normal variations within one general band of tone and instead go fundamentally up and down. The best way to explain it would be to contrast people speaking in monotone with opera singers. Opera singers are made fun of because the different notes they reach seem exaggerated, but in reality it's very disciplined and only sounds weird because we're not used to voices reaching that range of notes within a phrase. Usually we only hear tonal variations like that with instruments. The Cocteau Twins, while having good voices, aren't opera singers.

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