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Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing

MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Jul 12 - 08:03 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Jul 12 - 08:25 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Jul 12 - 12:16 AM
johncharles 14 Jul 12 - 04:58 AM
Gibb Sahib 14 Jul 12 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jul 12 - 07:44 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Jul 12 - 08:35 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Jul 12 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Jul 12 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,999 14 Jul 12 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jul 12 - 12:12 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Jul 12 - 08:31 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Jul 12 - 09:44 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Jul 12 - 09:06 AM
johncharles 15 Jul 12 - 09:13 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Jul 12 - 09:19 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Jul 12 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Jul 12 - 04:23 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Jul 12 - 07:08 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Jul 12 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Jul 12 - 05:03 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 05:34 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Grishka 16 Jul 12 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Jul 12 - 06:28 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Jul 12 - 07:42 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 08:22 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Jul 12 - 09:36 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 07:26 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 07:36 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Jul 12 - 09:57 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 Jul 12 - 07:54 AM
Stringsinger 17 Jul 12 - 10:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 Jul 12 - 06:31 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 Jul 12 - 10:50 PM
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Subject: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 08:03 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz4_V3Y1b4c&feature=youtube_gdata
This is a video I made of me singing Clementina's solo from [i]The Desert Song.[/i].
I know the high notes aren't good, but anyone have tips on how I could improve them?


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 08:25 PM

BTW, hope I'm not too bad.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 12:16 AM

Another BTW, then again I made the mistake of singing with a stuffed nose :(, which I won't do again.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: johncharles
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 04:58 AM

A few lessons with a good singing teacher is probably better than online suggestions for improving your performance.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 06:07 AM

"I know the high notes aren't good, but anyone have tips on how I could improve them?"

Maybe bring the key of the whole song down. It seems too high for you range.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 07:44 AM

Morwen, thanks for satisfying our curiosity. Part of the fun at Mudcat is that we get a lively impression from many different persons who share our interest in music, and your video adds to that. For this purpose, it cannot possibly be "too bad", though we get no chance to see your chin (ugly wart there?).

First lesson: don't make excuses; only perform anything in public if it passes your own critical assessment, and if you are willing to let your audience be your judge.

I encourage everyone to sing and play. Enjoy it and do not ask anyone for permission except your housemates. It is even more fun together with other people. If you do not feel up to your own ambitions, take a good teacher, as JohnCharles said. You'll be surprised how high notes you can sing easily! Your voice has a good "projection", the price to pay is that you may have to work on your articulation harder than others.

Now for the song: being from an operetta, it needs accompaniment and some sort of acting. If you have no pianist at hand, use the MIDI file, which doubles as a metronome. If after keen practice you can sing to it exactly in time and in tune, you have gained a lot - the song is not easy at all, and the high notes are the least difficulty. Articulation and acting come next.

Have fun and let no one frustrate you. However, drop your other career only after you have become a musical star.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 08:35 AM

Grishka, thanks for the MIDI file!


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 08:36 AM

EDIT: And the encouragement


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 10:21 AM

Thanks for the link, Morwen! You have a lovely clear voice, and
you sing that difficult melody in tune.

I join the others in recommending voice lessons. You show a lot of rromise.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 10:34 AM

Hi, Morwen. Take some voice lessons from a voice teacher. That would have the added benefit of preventing some mistakes and correcting others we all make/made with vocalizing--before they become entrenched as habits.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 12:12 PM

You're welcome, Morwen. The MIDI file took me two minutes of googling and testing, the credit goes to the anonymous authors and uploaders.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 08:31 PM

I did have lessons but stopped because of schoolwork. I might get them again when I have enough time.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 09:44 PM

Have just uploaded a MP3 recording of myself singing to the MIDI backing for The Song of The Brass Key on this site: http://karaokescene.com/ss/submissions.php.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 09:06 AM

And another thing; looking through this thread I was really surprised to see references to this not being an easy piece. Especially at leeneia's message. (Thanks leeneia!) Why is it difficult? For some reason, I find it really easy to sing. It's definitely not as difficult as The Sabre Song, or the Italian Street Song from Naughty Marietta, which has coloratura. (I'm not a coloratura.)


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: johncharles
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 09:13 AM

it may easy to sing but not easy to sing well. that is a crucial difference.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 09:19 AM

johncharles: Don't know if that's what those posters meant. Grishka said: "The song is not easy at all". and Leeneia said it's "a difficult melody."


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 09:24 AM

BTW, I'm interested in hearing why leeneia thinks this is difficult... is it the tempo or something?


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 04:23 PM

There are songs which are easier and others which are more difficult than this one, to achieve a given quality. The relative difficulty of the SotBK is that it is quick and rhythmic (what Mr. Romberg imagined to be Spanish). Some may also find the changes of key (pun?) challenging, depending on their individual talents. The words are not easy to pronounce crisply, let alone to achieve that special touch of eroticism.

Believe me that professionals work hard on such a song to get it really convincing; some would have an easier time with famous opera arias.

Amateurs, on the other hand, can scale their ambition freely. If you are happy with your result, so am I. If you work harder, say for three weeks, you may impress yourself and us.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 07:08 PM

Grishka: Just woke up (it's 9 o'clock in the morning here). Just to make sure that I'm professional standard, I'm going to practice this for about four weeks.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 07:58 PM

BTW, Incidentally, this role (Clementina) is my dream role.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 05:03 AM

Curious stuff for sure - antiquated racist exoticism. How does this tie in with your Calypso ambitions?


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 05:34 AM

Blandiver, well it is a guilty pleasure...


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 05:52 AM

Yeah, I'm aware it's racist. (Incidentally I'm drafting a fantasy novel loosely based on the operetta, which is basically a rewrite/allusion to the plot and addresses the racism and colonialism) That's why I'm almost ashamed to admit I like the songs! (And the role of Clementina. She's a lot of fun to play) I like old musicals. (I like Naughty Marietta as well, and want to play Adah. Yeah.) And I like "The Sheik of Araby."


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 06:25 AM

Bravely said, Morwen (15 Jul 12 - 07:08 PM). We do not expect you to be a full professional by Aug. 12, but you will have learned a lot, if you keep listening to your results and asking yourself (and others) "Would I like this if it were from a stranger who charges an entrance fee?"

As said before, professional advice is very useful. What 999 wrote above.

I am not such a singing teacher (though proud owner of a choirmaster diploma), but for what it's worth, I can give you three more pieces of advice:
a) smile whenever adequate, while singing and while talking to other people (practise with a mirror),
b) try to involve your friends, e.g. to hold the camera, and watch their reactions carefully,
c) allow everything its time, including your posts to Mudcat, until you are reasonably sure to achieve the effect you want.

Now we're looking forward to Aug. 12. —

Blandiver: Morwen has started a separate thread about the operetta as such, where I did not contribute. We all know that better music and plays exist, and that human relationship has more aspects than reflected in this song, but if it catches Morwen's imagination, I do not see any urgent reason to object. A wonderful property of dreams is that they change from time to time.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 06:28 AM

It's an endemic colonial racism though - one born of a fascination for the exotic but an unwillingness to take it on equal terms. This is cultural / xenophobic mockery which then strives to contain such by trivialising them by way of a deeper voyuerism. As individuals in a multi-cultural global village (wherein such racism / sexism will always be an issue) I feel our task must be to always work to redress the balance somehow. I'd be interested to hear how you as a non-White female think about the political implications of singing such a piece in today's climate. To what extent are you being Ironic? If so, to what extent do you see that irony as being subversive? For example, a few of my Gay friends love TDS (and other such schlock) in terms of its ironic kitcsh - I get the impression they see that as being subversion in itself, or maybe they just do it to see me squirm!


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:22 AM

Blandiver: If my memory's correct, the character who mainly sings this piece (Clementina) is a Spanish woman, so not non-White as such. I've never heard of Spanish people being considered non-White. However, the character is a courtesan in the sense of "an independent woman of "loose morals" (very loaded phrase) with a career in performing (in this case, dance) who is supported by her male patron." So can you please explain what you mean when you talk about "the political implications"?

About the calypso thing: I still want to be a calypsonian sometime in the future. It's just not my focus right now.

Grishka: I think my next stage will be doing an audio recording of the song, uploading it and posting the link.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:42 AM

I think there's an exotic element implicit in this sort of depiction of Spanish culture - the faux-flamenco thing, tinged with the Roma Raggle-Taggle overtones carrying over from Moorish times & a more titillating romanticism accordingly. TSOTBK in the 1920s film clip has it in spades - in terms of its explicit / exotic eroticism.

Maybe I wasn't thinking so much about that as I was the parodic depictions of the Arabic stereotypes. The political implications are mostly of a cultural / colonial nature, whereby one culture is held to be inferior to another in terms of such ethnic stereotyping (and individuals seen accordingly) purely as a means for trashy entertainment value. In real terms Arabic culture is Vast & Wondrous - and things like TDS are quite insulting really, which is typical of White Causcasian Exoticism in general - be in terms of 'Chinoiserie' or any other racist stereotyping.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 08:22 AM

Blandiver: So you were talking about the piece as a whole. Thanks for the clarification.

Yes, the song is heavily influenced by the Habanera from Carmen. And yes, I've seen the 1920s movie before (it's on Youtube) but the thing which struck me about the SOTBK scene is how close Marie Wells and Jack Pratt were (when she sang the chorus, he was leaning close to her, and they end up dancing together in the dance which follows the song. I suppose the closeness is related to ideas about the supposed hypersexuality of Arab men and to old accounts of White women in harem captivity. Not to mention the fact that all the Arabs were played by Whites in burnt cork).

About the piece as a whole-- yeah I suppose in a way, I think I'm being subversive and ironic. As I've posted before, it's a guilty pleasure.I think recognising the corniness and stereotyping under the catchy tunes and lyrics counts as being ironic.

Actually, related to this whole idea of racism in TDS, one of my other interests is creative writing, specifically fantasy and science fiction. I'm actually writing a fantasy novel inspired by this operetta which comments on all the stereotypes and the effects of colonialism. I've been doing research to make it plausible and culturally accurate. Including researching Arab stereotypes. For one thing, in my story the Red Shadow is a Bedouin Arab, and Pierre is his decoy. The plot's got a whole lot of stuff about the issue of a White guy from the colonising country being an anti-colonialist fighter against his own national interests.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 08:47 AM

Addition to the last paragraph of that 8:22 AM post: I talked about the story I'm doing because I feel it relates to Blandiver's point about irony and racism in TDS. I like it for the catchy songs and great music, not so much for its Unfortunate Implications re colonialism, race, and religion (the banishment scene and "Eastern and Western Love"- even the name of the sequence is unfortunate- anyone? Especially "Let Love Go" and "If One Flower Grows Alone In Your Garden". Arab men are oversexed much?)


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:36 AM

Why did I think the song was hard? It seemed to have big hops and accidentals. (I haven't seen the music myself.) Easy music goes up a little and down a little, but it doesn't make big hops.

Don't worry too much about the social implications. If we waited for the perfect production, we would never get to sing anything. Besides, if we really don't like something, we can change it.

If you are not in a choir of some kind, can you join one? Perhaps at school? That's good for singers.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:26 PM

Thanks for the explanation, leeneia. What did you think of my acting? (I want to play Clementina in a professional production and get the chance to sing this song live. And "One Good Boy Gone Wrong.")


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:36 PM

Addition to above post: "or amateur".


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:57 PM

I think I might try to get into local musical theatre.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 07:54 AM

Today I actually found out my school is holding a singing competition this term. I'm going to audition with this song, as soon as I find out the rules. Have converted the MIDI into an mp3 through GarageBand, and plan to burn it onto a blank CD so I'll have a backing and just realised how it could be hard to sing. It's very quick, as Grishka said. I'm going to have to work harder than I planned.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 10:26 AM

Morwen, you should be encouraged and commended for your passion for singing.
This is why it becomes imperative that you locate a good singing teacher, not easy to do, sort of finding a good marriage or therapist, someone who not only can sing so that you can emulate her/him by watching and listening, finding someone who is empathic and a real teacher. They are out there but it's your responsibility to find this person, a teacher who can give you helpful criticism, encourage you to improve, and let you feel good about your studies.

Find vocal students or professional singers who you admire, talk to them and ask who their teacher is. From your interest in Victor Herbert, you would be well advised to find someone who has a legit semi-classical style, bel canto, and can work with you on vowel placement, breathing, interpretation, musicianship and performance technique.

You may have such a teacher already but if this is the case, allow time for this to develop.

A good teacher can inform you if you are ready for certain songs in your repertory.
They can direct and aid you in the pursuit of this goal.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 06:31 PM

Thanks, Stringsinger.


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Subject: RE: Song of the Brass Key- Morwen's singing
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 10:50 PM

And I not only want to sing, I want to act in the operettas. (I want to be Clementina in TDS. Maybe I should go back to taking drama lessons too.. And I'm going to play seductive!sexy!Clementina to the best of my ability for the competition audition.
Question: If you can "act" a song, can you necessarily act with a script?


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