Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh say, can you sing?

Yes, it was painful to watch. But, not because Christina Aguilera forgot a line to our beloved yet celebrity-bewildering national anthem. It was the melisma that butchered it. Melisma - my musical pet peeve - is the act of singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. Taken to extremes, as seems to be the case with every modern pop singer (and, yes, I'm still talking about you Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston - you started it!). Why can't these young gals take a page from Barbra's time-tested handbook. Let the song speak for itself. Less is more, and all of that stuff. That's my rant for the day. Now, it's off to Salon to watch the commercials I missed.

4 comments:

Kim from Nebraska said...

THANK YOU! I, too, despise the melisma. I also despise what I call schwooping -- where they don't hit the note bang on, they schwoop to it. I also hate when they put an "h" sound before the open vowels. So it sounds like "Ho-ho-say can you see...." or "Hand the ramparts we watched" or "hore the rockets red glare." Just sing it; it's not your freeking American Idol tryout.

Cathy Hamilton said...

Agree re: schwooping, which I call scooping. And no h's either, except in "Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly happen." I've dated myself. Again.

Carol Starr Schneider said...

Make sure not to pull out the ol' melisma during the va-jay-jay monologues.

Cathy Hamilton said...

So funny you would say that, Carol, because I was assigned the "elegant" moan which is described as "a sophisticated laughing sound." I also got the Irish Catholic moan: "Forgive me!"