Thursday, 19 June 2008

The monstrous regiment...

The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation, And for the bass, the beast can only bellow; In fact, he had no singing education, An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow.
So said Lord Byron. But what does he know? All that swimming the Hellespont can’t have done his vocal chords much good, and heaven only knows where he got the energy to sing after spending his nights in flagranti with a succession of Venetian noblewomen. But he did elsewhere express his unequivocal admiration of the boys’ voice (or was it merely admiration of a choirboy? Not quite sure of that one). Whatever, we could have usefully done with some support from the nobility when the Dean announced that, from September, we would be admitting girls into the song school. I must say we, in the choral vicar department, had failed woefully to see that one coming.
‘But St Paul says, in Corinthians, that ‘women should stay silent in the churches’ Rodney spluttered in the vestry, looking almost as if he was about to burst into tears.
‘Yes, old man’ sniped Drane (who, for those of you unfamiliar with this growing narrative is my opposite number – Dec Bass 1) 'but no-one’s asking them to speak in tongues. If you were listening to the Dean’s sermon last Sunday you’d understand the context of that passage refers to the chaotic spread of glossolalia in the early church.’
‘But…but…in Timothy, Paul says that women have to learn in silence and with all submissiveness.’
‘Yes…’
‘… and if there’s anything they desire to know or do, then they should ask at home.’
‘And…?’
‘And so it’s obvious.’
‘Is it?’
‘Yes it is – they should remain at home and listen to CDs.’
I have to sympathise with Rodney (and, as conductor of the local choral union with responsibility for booking soloists, I have to keep 'on side' with him as well). But I rather think a girls' choir might be fun. It certainly can't be any less musical than the boys we have at present. And they'd be a darn site prettier. And more fragrant. And another source of income! (No doubt some of them would like a singing teacher?)

18 comments:

sabrinas life medley said...

there was no problem with the chops! :-) yumi!

Can Bass 1 said...

Oh good!

http://richiesliv.blogg.se/ said...

TY for coming by! Hope someone blonde will find you under her pillow tomorrow night §:-))

Visit me to my inspiration blog too!

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Enjoy!

//swefil

Kitty said...

'Glossolalia' is a splendid word. I might steal it. But then I'd be breaking a commandment, so perhaps not.

Thanks for visiting my blog - how embarrassing that it was of fornicating monkeys, what with you being a vicar.

Can Bass 1 said...

Fear not, Miss Kitty - I'm only a choral vicar!

Liz said...

Girl choristers for heaven's sake! Off with their heads!

Kevin Musgrove said...

accessorized surplices!

Doshea3 said...

Funny you should mention old St Paul, as only last week in the Presbyterian church where I am organist (I like a bit of variety in my denominations) the minister mentioned the bit about women remaining silent in church. The irony is, of course, that the minister is a she!

Music is denominationally blind, as they often say. Well, organists seem to be, anyway. I recently applied for a job in a Catholic church which celebrates Tridentine Mass only. Sadly I didn't get it, as somebody had already applied. Shame really, as it has a magnificent organ! O well. Back to the old Presby octopod.

Doshea3 said...

O, and also, I understand the title reference. :D

Can Bass 1 said...

Well, I should think so - erudite fellow like yourself. Where's your blog?

alice c said...

Hi Can Bass 1
Most gratified to make your acquaintance. Glad that my humble little blog can help you in your plans for world domination.
Looking forward to reading your fim reviews
Alice

Eddie 2-Sox said...

Loving your work Can Bss....but what's a Can Bass anyway?

I suggested reading your blog to Barry Teeth too, but as he's not on the Internet he said he'll have a glance next time he's at the library. Hope that's OK?

Can Bass 1 said...

Well, well, well Mr Sox. As I explained in my first-ever blog, Can Bass 1 is Cantoris Bass (that's bass - lowest voice - on the Cantoris side of the choir, the opposite being Decani) singing the upper of the two bass parts (where there are two, as in eight-part writing). There - that should make it all perfectly clear. Cheerio!

Sir Monocle said...

Love it! I knew there had to be a church musician/blogger out there who I could commiserate with. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

Doshea3 said...

Dear Mr Can Bass: I intend to start a new proper blog very soon, which I will link you to. Regards.

Can Bass 1 said...

Jolly good, Mr Doshea. I'll look forward to it!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I like your attitude..!

The Dotterel said...

Me too!