What makes cambiata?
This month sees the launch of a new section on this site dedicated to the Cambiata movement in the UK instigated by Boys Keep Singing. Information on Cambiata has hitherto been buried in other pages on the site as well as in particular book chapters. Now Cambiata has its own “one stop shop”. Information from disparate locations has been brought together and, where necessary, updated. I wanted to use this month’s blog to highlight contents that will be new, or have something new to say about established themes.
First, there is a new paper entitled Putting the C in Cambiata: artistic considerations and changing voices. You’ll find it in the Tenors or Cambiate? section (or direct link here). It sets out the artistic vision I have for the forthcoming new BKS Media project to produce a CD of all the pieces in the OUP Emerging Voices series. To be performed by a variety of Cambiata choirs across the UK this CD aims to be faithful to the original Boys Keep Singing mission to 11 – 14 year olds. The artistic vision is a fusion of the physical and social science of the changing voice, crystalized by my own long-standing belief in the potential beauty of the lower ranges of the boy voice. The paper sets out my latest thinking on the expansion versus contraction debate in adolescent voice management.
Second, closely linked to the expanding/contracting debate is a relaunched and updated page of voice samples. On the Exploring Voices page you will be able to hear illustrations of changing voices singing in pitch ranges that correspond to cambiata ranges. Not all the voices are cambiata, even though all sing in ranges recognized as cambiata. That’s rather the point of “exploring voices”! What, other than actual singing range, makes a voice “cambiata”? I hope you will enjoy the process of developing your own ideas with the help of this page. Boys Keep Singing certainly endorsed Cambiata, but it’s not synonymous with it. After years of ongoing reflection, I can now see that the question “how high should boys sing?” might imply that there’s one answer. There isn’t. “How high should this boy, or that boy sing?” captures the reality of exploring voices rather better. How High Should A Boy Sing?
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