Wandering from pitch

  • Basil (Brother) Basil St. Theresa Seminary, Roma, Basutoland
Keywords: Choral music -- Instruction and study -- Africa, Musical pitch, Africa -- Music


Several writers have expressed their views in this Journal about a natural phenomenon: the wandering from pitch of their singers. I have also before me a leading Church Music Magazine in which a writer is at pains to give devices to overcome this difficulty especially with child choirs. From a long experience with choral groups in several countries, my own views are at variance with almost every writer on the subject. It may even come as a surprise if I say that African singers, even children or a whole congregation, can keep pitch when they are accompanied (by the harmonium, for instance, provided they can hear it enough); and that any musician who can transpose, or has a transpositor keyboard, could obviate the tendency in his singers. I do not find it a problem. But a few simple ‘rules’ should be observed.