A brief history of musical notation

As musicians, we’re all familiar with the notes of the heptatonic scale: A B C D E F G. What many of us may not know is the history of these notes and how musical notation got to be the way it is.
The purpose of musical notation is to tell someone what notes should be played without playing the note. They are supposed to be agreed upon reference points to enable music to be shared without being played. Continue reading “A brief history of musical notation”

“Do Re Mi” – A History

Last week, we spoke about the origins of singing itself. While exploring how archaeology is uncovering the history of song, we also stumbled across the wonderful history of “Do Re Mi” or Solfège, a method of teaching music that many of us will remember.

While the sounds, Do Re Mi So La Fa Ti might seem like nonsense, they actually form a mnemonic device that has revolutionised the way we think about music. Continue reading ““Do Re Mi” – A History”

The origins of singing

We speak a lot about the benefits of singing. Each week, we try and highlight an incredible way that expressing oneself through song can help the mind and body but within many of us, there is a still a little spark that says “you can’t sing.” This week, we look at the origins of singing in a bid to prove that singing is a deeply ingrained part of us all. Continue reading “The origins of singing”

Does exercise help you sing?

As it’s the new year and many of us are getting back to the gym, it’s time for us to give you a bit of extra motivation. Exercise is more than about getting beach body ready, regular cardio workouts can improve your singing ability.

Cardio is short for cardiovascular, and refers to any activity that gets the heart rate up and keeps it there, forcing us to to take bigger breaths. By training our breathing, we are able to sing with more power and stamina, two hugely important components of a singer. Continue reading “Does exercise help you sing?”

Choir boosts your immune system

It turns out choir practice may have even more health benefits than we first thought! In a fascinating study, it seems regular choir practice might even help boost the immune system of immunocompromised cancer patients.

Not only were there measurable reductions in stress hormones but patients involved in choir activities saw an increase in immune-related proteins and a reduction in inflammation-related proteins. This was measured directly after the singing session when the results were assumed to be strongest. Continue reading “Choir boosts your immune system”

Top Misconceptions About Choir

There are dozens of reasons people avoid singing in public. Everyone has their own reasons but it seems like such a shame to let things stop people enjoying the joyous activity of singing.
It might be something that happened in the past or it might be something entirely in the singers head but these reasons are incredibly telling, they reveal something immensely personal about ourselves. What is definite, however, is that each reason can be overcome. There’s is nothing that will stop someone singing if they are committed to the idea and have the support of a teacher and peers like you’d find in a choir.
So let’s look at these reasons and dig a little deeper, and try to find the reasons to sing anyway. Continue reading “Top Misconceptions About Choir”

What is SATB and why it doesnt matter

SATB is a common choral acronym, referring to the make up of a choir. Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone – the four most common types of voice. Each type brings it’s own set of characteristics, such as the warmth of a baritone or the brightness of a soprano. These elements are called timbre. Most men posses traits of the baritone voice, while most women are tend to fit the soprano voice more naturally. Continue reading “What is SATB and why it doesnt matter”

5 Tips To Beat Stage-Fright

Nerves are something every singer deals with. It’s also what stops many of us taking the first step in learning to sing. Even household names like Adele have admit to experiencing a degree of stage-fright, but nerves don’t mean you can’t get up and sing. As the old saying goes “the show must go on.”

So how do we deal with it? Here are a few helpful suggestions to deal with stage-fright. Continue reading “5 Tips To Beat Stage-Fright”

5 Skills You Didn’t Realise You Pick Up In A Choir

Taking part in a choir is not only a fantastic way to learn to sing. We’ve spoken about the health benefits of choral singing in the past but it may surprise some of you to learn that there are dozens of practical skills being built alongside the music.
Here we look at five of the skills taking part in BIGMOUTH develops. Continue reading “5 Skills You Didn’t Realise You Pick Up In A Choir”