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Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?

kendall 05 Feb 07 - 07:31 PM
Peace 05 Feb 07 - 07:35 PM
SINSULL 05 Feb 07 - 07:37 PM
Bainbo 05 Feb 07 - 07:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Feb 07 - 07:39 PM
Peace 05 Feb 07 - 07:42 PM
wysiwyg 05 Feb 07 - 07:43 PM
kendall 05 Feb 07 - 07:46 PM
khandu 05 Feb 07 - 07:46 PM
mrdux 05 Feb 07 - 07:47 PM
John O'L 05 Feb 07 - 08:25 PM
Leadfingers 05 Feb 07 - 08:30 PM
catspaw49 05 Feb 07 - 08:30 PM
frogprince 05 Feb 07 - 08:39 PM
Jim Lad 05 Feb 07 - 08:48 PM
Greg B 05 Feb 07 - 09:04 PM
kendall 05 Feb 07 - 09:17 PM
Sorcha 05 Feb 07 - 09:23 PM
Bill D 05 Feb 07 - 09:29 PM
Georgiansilver 06 Feb 07 - 02:23 AM
Alec 06 Feb 07 - 02:36 AM
Elaine Green 06 Feb 07 - 03:22 AM
fat B****rd 06 Feb 07 - 03:40 AM
redsnapper 06 Feb 07 - 03:53 AM
Wordsmith 06 Feb 07 - 03:55 AM
Wordsmith 06 Feb 07 - 03:59 AM
Scrump 06 Feb 07 - 04:07 AM
Alec 06 Feb 07 - 04:38 AM
kendall 06 Feb 07 - 07:53 AM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Feb 07 - 08:34 AM
Wesley S 06 Feb 07 - 01:13 PM
jeffp 06 Feb 07 - 01:16 PM
Scoville 06 Feb 07 - 01:20 PM
Cluin 06 Feb 07 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Jim 06 Feb 07 - 01:37 PM
Wolfgang 06 Feb 07 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Albion Dizzy 06 Feb 07 - 02:28 PM
Zany Mouse 06 Feb 07 - 02:31 PM
terrier 06 Feb 07 - 03:31 PM
bubblyrat 06 Feb 07 - 04:04 PM
mg 06 Feb 07 - 10:49 PM
Doug Chadwick 06 Feb 07 - 11:12 PM
Gurney 07 Feb 07 - 12:10 AM
Wordsmith 07 Feb 07 - 01:27 AM
Wordsmith 07 Feb 07 - 01:39 AM
GUEST,Cod Fiddler 07 Feb 07 - 10:36 AM
Grab 07 Feb 07 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,mick burke 07 Feb 07 - 10:59 AM
Bernard 07 Feb 07 - 12:35 PM
mrdux 07 Feb 07 - 01:22 PM
Bee 07 Feb 07 - 01:41 PM
charles92027 07 Feb 07 - 04:46 PM
kendall 07 Feb 07 - 05:06 PM
Scrump 07 Feb 07 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 07 Feb 07 - 06:10 PM
melodeonboy 07 Feb 07 - 06:31 PM
Richie 07 Feb 07 - 08:59 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Feb 07 - 09:27 PM
Jim Lad 07 Feb 07 - 09:47 PM
Linda Goodman Zebooker 07 Feb 07 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Feb 07 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 07 Feb 07 - 11:35 PM
Jim Lad 08 Feb 07 - 02:01 AM
patriot1314 08 Feb 07 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 08 Feb 07 - 04:24 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 09 Feb 07 - 08:33 AM
Scrump 09 Feb 07 - 08:43 AM
GUEST 09 Feb 07 - 08:43 AM
bubblyrat 09 Feb 07 - 12:31 PM
Jim Lad 09 Feb 07 - 12:34 PM
Alec 09 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM
John Hardly 09 Feb 07 - 12:47 PM
Les from Hull 09 Feb 07 - 12:57 PM
Stephen L. Rich 09 Feb 07 - 10:46 PM
Riginslinger 09 Feb 07 - 11:05 PM
Bert 10 Feb 07 - 08:46 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 11 Feb 07 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Doug 17 Feb 11 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Feb 11 - 07:25 AM
Jack Campin 17 Feb 11 - 07:57 AM
kendall 17 Feb 11 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Feb 11 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Feb 11 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Feb 11 - 01:26 PM
Gurney 17 Feb 11 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Feb 11 - 03:53 PM
Don Firth 17 Feb 11 - 04:47 PM
Smokey. 17 Feb 11 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Feb 11 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,Rayzor North Carolina USA 17 Feb 11 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,Luigi Umbelino 10 May 11 - 04:03 PM
SunRay 10 May 11 - 04:49 PM
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Subject: Opinions please
From: kendall
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:31 PM

I have a friend who plays the Saxophone, and I don't like the sound that instrument makes. When I told her that, she went nuts and told me how wrong I am etc.
Anyway, she says that the Sax is the instrument that is closer to the human voice than all others. I say that place is occupied by the violin.
What do you think?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Peace
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:35 PM

"Anyway, she says that the Sax is the instrument that is closer to the human voice than all others. I say that place is occupied by the violin."

I guess it would depend on whose singin' yer listenin' to.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: SINSULL
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:37 PM

I am not in a position to comment, Kendall. I love the sound of a banjo.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Bainbo
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:39 PM

Is no one going to make the "gratuitous sax and violins" joke?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:39 PM

There are singers whose voices have a saxophone quality - Frank Sinatra was one.

The violin sounds more like the human singing voices I like best though.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Peace
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:42 PM

Badly played, they both sound like a cat with its tail caught in a door.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:43 PM

Why botger to defend what is basically your own sense of what you like and what you personally find irritating?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: kendall
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:46 PM

Susan, I wish I knew!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: khandu
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:46 PM

Kendall, how can you be wrong for "not liking" the sound of a sax? Am I wrong for not liking modern blues music? No! And if any of my friends go "nuts" because my tastes are different from theirs, then they are nuts to begin with and they can bite a fat hog in the ass.

And I agree 100% with McGrath of Harlow.

ken


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: mrdux
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 07:47 PM

Also depends on whose playing you're listening to. Coleman Hawkins could get some really warm breathy vocal sounds out of his tenor sax.

michael


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: John O'L
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 08:25 PM

There is no right or wrong where taste is concerned, only opinions. In my opinion the trombone is the instrument closest to the human voice.
Right?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 08:30 PM

And then it depends which sax you're playing !


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 08:30 PM

Which voice and which sax? I might go along with windblown instruments being somewhat more intimate than a stringed instrument, but that's pretty thin and would get a lot of argument. However.........

Like the human voice, saxes DO come in different ranges but the tonal quality is very different between a Tenor Sax and a Bari Sax.....or an Alto and a Soprano. It isn't just the range, it is the sound of the instrument itself. The great Charlie Parker was asked why he didn't play Tenor instead of Alto. He said that he couldn't play Tenor because he "didn't speak like that." What he meant was he heard and thought and knew the Alto so intimately that playing Tenor would be like trying to translate his thoughts into a foreign language. Note that the great ones are known for only one ax.

I never approached that level of performance but I can relate to The Bird's feelings. I was always a comfortable and relaxed Tenor player but my Alto work was only satisfactory at best. I never really understood an Alto as I did a Tenor. As a Tenor soloist I knew exactly where and how I could push the instrument and allow it to translate my idea to notes. Although I had the same technical skill on Alto, my solos sounded to me as if I were forcing something that wasn't there. Hence, I played Alto only as needed and played Tenor far, far more.

Look, I dunno' if a Sax is any closer to the human voice than a Fluegelhorn or a bull roarer but I think both of you are full of shit, but for different reasons!(;<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: frogprince
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 08:39 PM

Which instrument sounds most like,
A. Louis Armstrong?
B. Dave VonRonk?
C. Tom Waits?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 08:48 PM

Kendall! What were you thinking? I fear for you, man.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Greg B
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 09:04 PM

A lot of instruments kind of sound nasty if you really
listen to them.

Best example is the fiddle. Play a single note on a
violin, and draw it out. Now matter how well-played it
is, if you really listen it sounds like someone band-sawing
a steel pipe.

Yet, when used to make 'music' the fiddle is certainly one
of the prettiest instruments on earth.

A drawn out note on a sax sounds like a goose with sinusitis
deflating. But in the hands of an expert--- what a variety
of sound!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: kendall
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 09:17 PM

Fact is, I'm not fond of any wind instrument, although, I find the French horn pleasing, and the trumpet when played Herb Alpert style. However, when someone hits that high note that irritates the hell out of me.

When Heifitz plays Scottish Fantasy it is nothing short of beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 09:23 PM

I am refraining from comment. (but I like banjos too)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 09:29 PM

well, there are some things that almost REQUIRE a sax

(warning..YouTube link....don't click without broadband)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:23 AM

Love the fiddle and really can't stand the sound of the sax so I guess I am with you Kendall.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Alec
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:36 AM

We all like what we like.I am fond of both Violin & Saxophone.
There is a lot of music in existence which needs one or the other.
(Mind you my affection for both the Mellotron & Electric Sitar rankles with some people.)
As for which instrument sounds most like the human voice,my vote would have to go to Sparky the Magic Piano.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Elaine Green
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:22 AM

I've always thought that what people are talking about when they say this sort of thing is the microtonal quality, the ability to hit 'blue' notes, and to slide gracefully between intervals, blah blah. To me that IS more like the human voice than most instruments. So in that way her statement works for both instruments.

Still, what one likes and what one doesn't like is finally a matter of opinion, and we all know what those are like, as I was told by a rude fellow on a city bus not long ago. Granted the truth of his statement, they are as important as that, too, mentally if not biologically.

Personal taste is a product of so many elements and is, well, personal. Where all of us go wrong from time to time is getting on a high horse and thinking that opinions are factual, that we are of necessity right.

Saxophones I associate with smoke and beauty, for some reason, but not in a bad way, more in a noir movie kind of way, when it was innocent/cool. Violins I associate with delicacy and beauty. But that's just what they are, associations.

I like a world where there is room for both!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: fat B****rd
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:40 AM

It is of course in the ear of the beholder.
Quite simply I enjoy Stan Getz as much as Lee Allen or Dewey Balfa as much as Nigel Kennedy.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: redsnapper
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:53 AM

Personally I love both in the hands of good players. Same with other instruments.

RS


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Wordsmith
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:55 AM

I agree with everyone who said it's a matter of personal choice. I was just being nerdy and looking up Jascha Heifetz on the internet and got booted out of what I'd already written. The gist was that I love both instruments. I have been a Stan Getz fan from when I first heard his collaboration with Joao Gilberto, but I also grew up with Fritz Kreissler. I loved Paul Desmond when I first found Dave Brubeck (I was in high school.) We won't go into how long ago that was, suffice it to say, I just got a notice from my college for our 35th reunion. As I write, I'm listening to Yehudi Menuhin playing alongside Ravi Shankar in one of their West Meets East sessions. This question reminds me of the "what's your favorite music?" debate. It's endless. On the other hand, one can learn a lot from reading people's responses. I've never heard an Electric Sitar, but I'd like to now. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Natalie McMaster, Michael O'Connor, Allyson Krause, and, most memorably, Ashley MacIsaac as fiddlers to whom I'm partial, too. I was never fond of trumpets until I heard Chris Botti play one. When do we talk about pianos? ;D


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Wordsmith
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:59 AM

I knew I misspelled MacMaster!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Scrump
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 04:07 AM

If you want something that sounds like the human voice, why not sing?

:-)

Have you ever heard anyone singing like a violin, a saxophone, or any other musical instrument, for that matter?

They and other instruments have their place, but not as a substitute for the human voice.

The 'argument' is pointless. You'll just have to agree to differ.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Alec
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 04:38 AM

Wordsmith there's good usage use of Electric Sitar on "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers which elevates what could easily have been a somewhat saccharine & contrived song into something which is genuinely fun.
(That's merely my opinion though)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: kendall
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 07:53 AM

This lady is a republican control freak. (Redundant)
Her opinion is always a fact. She drives me nuts.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 08:34 AM

Ever the contrarian, I vote for the cello for the closest to the human voice.

My Beautiful wife, looking over my shoulder, reminds me of the pipeorgan stop called "vox humana", which, as you might gather, is supposed to sound like the human voice.   And also as you might gather, my BW is an organist.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Wesley S
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 01:13 PM

"I have a friend who plays the Saxophone, and I don't like the sound that instrument makes. When I told her that, she went nuts and told me how wrong I am etc."

I think what you're really looking at here is that your friend is hearing something different from what you are saying. You've said that you don't like the sound of the saxaphone. What she is hearing is that you don't like the sound SHE makes when she is playing the saxaphone. Is it possible that she's feeling personally rejected?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: jeffp
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 01:16 PM

Have you ever heard anyone singing like a violin, a saxophone, or any other musical instrument, for that matter?


Yes I have. And to great effect. The King's Singers do this on a couple of their CDs. They were inspired by a prewar German group called The Comedian Harmonists, who did this quite a bit.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Scoville
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 01:20 PM

Depends on who's playing it, too. I've heard people who can make guitars "talk". Me on fiddle, on the other hand, sounds more like a donkey than a human voice. I suppose that if one analyzed it all scientifically, saxophone might theoretically be nearest the human voice but there are a lot of variables.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Cluin
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 01:37 PM

You do like to argue about dumb things.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 01:37 PM

I've heard mouth harp players sound close to a voice.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:02 PM

from a German forum: Someone has googled the German phrase for "closest to the human voice" and then listed 13 different instruments which have been claimed at least once to have that property. There even may be more with slightly different search terms.

However, the winners (in number) are either oboe or cello. Some of the instruments I only knew the name of, for instance Schalmei (shawm says my dictionary).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: GUEST,Albion Dizzy
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:28 PM

I hope your friend is practising "safe sax"!!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 02:31 PM

I think everyone has an instrument they don't like. I personally find the saw actually hurts my ears! Luckily the only time I hear one is in Miskin and there is so much to do there that I simply remove myself to another activity (yeah, OK, so just boozing outside with a load of others) until the guy has finished.

One man's meat ... etc

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: terrier
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 03:31 PM

I was told by a Sax player friend that the sax was the most musically efficient of all the wind instruments. It has the greastest dynamic range and the widest volume range. Through virtually the whole of the range it can be made to 'growl' or be played gently and sweetly. I suppose that could be compared to the human voice???


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: bubblyrat
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 04:04 PM

Not a great fan of the instrument,but it has its moments!! The soaring alto-sax solo in Gallagher & Lyle"s "Heart in New York" as sung by Art Garfunkel is quite beautiful, for me, and a few years ago I shared a CD of Gregorian Chant intermingled with saxophones, & that was pretty impressive too !! My much-missed friend,the late Jon Hayward, gave me, not long before he died, a CD of himself,playing the music of Turlough O'Carolan along with Alistair Gillies on sax, & it actually works quite well.But I can"t STAND the thing in a dance,or military, band !!! Sorry !


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: mg
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 10:49 PM

I certainly wouldn't say violin as it is scratched..and the voice is a bellows. Maybe accordian or concerntina. mg


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 11:12 PM

I have both a tenor sax and a fiddle and, for me, it's the sax which comes closest from a player's point of view.

With the fiddle so close to my ear, I hear lots of little squeaks and scratches, even when I'm playing well. These may well be inaudible to a listener just a few feet away but they are difficult for me to ignore and can lead me into a downward spiral as my confidence ebbs. That never happens with my voice.

With the saxophone, I am playing from deep within myself and am as much feeling as playing the music. The sax is strictly for home consumption so I don't know what others would think of my playing, but they couldn't hear what I hear because I have a complete band accompanying me inside my head.

DC


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Gurney
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 12:10 AM

I like most instruments that use reeds, and don't much like bowed instruments smaller than a viola.

Which sax? There are several. Which human? Base or soprano?


Many animals DON'T like reed instruments. I'll try to take comfort from that.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Wordsmith
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 01:27 AM

I actually love this conversation, even if it doesn't solve the original dilemma. I'll admit I don't know which is a closer approximation to the human voice, but Wolfgang's response reminded me of Peter and the Wolf, which, as you may know, creates all of the characters' voices with musical instruments - along with a narrator. I think it's a great teaching and learning piece.

Thanks, Bill D. for that link - it brought back memories of Benny Hill.
Thanks, Alec, for the Electric Sitar reference - I'll try to locate the piece.

As for replicating instruments with the voice, besides someone like Bobby McFerin


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Subject: RE: Opinions please
From: Wordsmith
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 01:39 AM

Bobby McFerrin, (I got booted again, but managed to save) I know of a couple of times I've heard Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan approximate instruments masterfully. I think it depends on the singer's voice and elasticity. I have heard people make trumpets sound almost like human laughter. I also don't want to leave the impression that I only like the sax and violin. I'm listening to Cleo Laine, right now, singing, My One and Only Love, and there's someone playing a harmonica fantastically. I think I know who it is, but, thanks to aging, I can't quite remember it now. I'm sure it'll come to me. He used to play jazz harmonica for quite a few jazz singers. Quite mellow. BTW, now, I'm listening to Coleman Hawkins playing Sophisticated Lady, and I can hear the smokiness. See, it's not just the instrument, it's what the artist can wring out of it, too. Maybe it is just the lady who's playing the sax in such a way that it hurts to listen to it, Kendall?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Cod Fiddler
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 10:36 AM

'Cello is definitely closer to a human voice than a violin. It is much more resonant than a violin and covers the male and female ranges.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Grab
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 10:54 AM

Cello for low voice. Viola for high voice. Violin for boy chorister.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,mick burke
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 10:59 AM

Your friend is right imo. The sax sounds like a jazz singer's voice. You don't play the sax ,you speak with it ,like Louis Armstrong spoke through the trumpet.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Bernard
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 12:35 PM

Highland Bagpipes...? Okay, only when someone has the singer by the throat - which is usually what happens to me when I play my Highland Bagpipes...!

I don't really think the issue should be which instrument sounds like the human voice, but rather which instrument accompanies it best?

I would agree, though, that Kendall is right to object if a sax doesn't suit him... I play Alto, but I would never inflict it on someone who didn't like it... don't like hands around me throat, dost see?!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human vo
From: mrdux
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 01:22 PM

Wordsmith:

is it Toots Thielemans playing harmonica with Cleo Laine, maybe?

michael

ps -- in my earlier post I was thinking of Coleman Hawkins playing "Body and Soul". . . but "Sophisticated Lady" works for me, too.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Bee
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 01:41 PM

There's an enormous variety in human voices - it would be easier to ask what human voices sound most like what instrument. My mother's voice, when she was younger, had an almost guitar like quality, while my brother sounded like a badly played trombone (tone-deaf, poor fellow). I've certainly heard flute-like voices.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: charles92027
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 04:46 PM

Everything I've read says the cello is the closest, in timbre and range, to the human voice.
However some people (myself included) would argue that the human voice is an instrument - which would make it the closest instrument to a human voice.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: kendall
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 05:06 PM

I love the highland pipes, but I can understand why many people don't.I don't hate them because they don't like what I like. That's silly.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Scrump
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 05:09 PM

The Sonovox was the closest sound to a human voice I've ever heard.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 06:10 PM

Depends on the voice. Trombone is in the tenor range. Flute and violin soprano. Viola and upper cello..alto. Baritone....baritone horn. Bass, small tuba or bowed bass. As to the frequency range by which the "timbre" of the instrument is measured, every voice is slightly different. The flute can sound like some sopranos...breathy and high-pitched without jarring frequencies. The sax can be played smooth like Paul Desmond or Lee Konitz and more cutting like Charlie Parker. These instruments really are the "voice" of the players.

The difference in vocal quality is more contrasting then these other instruments mentioned.
Louis Armstrong vrs. Jussi Bjorling for example. Apples and oranges.

I find many human voices irritating to listen to if they don't have the musical phrasing and sophistication of a Louis Armstrong or Renee Fleming. I like the shouters if they are the real deal like Big Bill Broonzy.

I may be one of the few folkies that likes Ethel Merman..the belt queen. You woulda' had to seen her to believe it.

i would rather hear the cutting edge of a Bird solo than the baleful whining of some of the new folkie-types with their breathy and innocuous made-up ballads.

The African-American voices are beautiful and sound trumpet-like and some like a sax.

The sax is fundamentally a jazz instrument, Sigfried Rasher aside. (Classical sax player..think I have his name right if not please correct)

Some love the wide vibrato of Sidney Bechet, others hate it. I have heard African-American voices that sound this way.

Louis when he sings growls like Kid Ory's trombone.

Some baritones with rich voices in the folk field such as Stan Rogers remind me of baritone horns or low french horns.

Billie Holiday reminds me of a soft clarinet...with a bit of a growl.

I love the sound of the Celtic Women and Mairead Nesbitt makes her violin sing like a great soprano voice.

Almeda Riddle and Texas Gladden remind me of the sound of an folkie oboe. The appalachian trad male singers (Horton Barker) like an English horn. This would be true also of Bulgarian Women's choruses.

Judy Collins sounds like a smooth viola.

The human voice may be the most versatile instrument of all because of its variety of tonal quality. It can sound like many instruments.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 06:31 PM

Kazoo!!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Richie
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 08:59 PM

The Talk Box or voice box that was popularized by Peter Frampton is close.

There are some synth keyboard sounds that are also close. The synth can also play with vibrato.

Kazoo is also a close one,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human vo
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 09:27 PM

In my judgment (and believe me, I can be judgmental!), sax is almost two instruments.

As I generally hear it, (e.g. in jazz), it is for some reason generally used to produce sounds that I can only characterize as SNUFFLE, RASP, GARGLE, SNEEZE, GROWL, GURGLE, SCRATCH, AWK, AWK, AWK!

But it's possible, with a sensible, sensitive musician, to produce really lovely song-like sounds. For some reason, the French seem to do this best.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 09:47 PM

I would have to say.. "Recorder".


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Linda Goodman Zebooker
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 10:28 PM

In choral singing, such as Handel's Messiah, we often deliberately imitate instruments, even while singing words. Sometimes the choral director specifically asks for this, other times it's up to our own interpretation. Since I'm a soprano, the instrument is very often a trumpet highlight. There's a place in Messiah where the majesty of a trombone sound is needed from the singers, though no trombones are actually in the orchestration. Other times, when we are low in our range we have to think the bright nasal sound of "saxophone" in order to cut through and be audible. Sometimes you consciously sing runs as if you are bowing, other times as if on a fingered and blown instrument. How you attack the notes, how you hold your face and body, depend on what instrument you are at the moment.

If you aren't thinking about being a character, such as an angel dropped from the ceiling by a wire (sopranos get all the good parts!), then you are often thinking what instrument you are. It makes it much more fun for everybody.

Linda


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 10:29 PM

That's interesting, JimLad. I wouldn't have thought of recorder, but now that you mention it, the low ones definitely resemble singing.

About the saxophone - I have friends who are professional musicians, and they tell me that all instruments (and good voices) play impure notes. Meaning, that when playing pitch, they actually wobble, moving up a bit, then back to the note, down a bit, and back. etc.

The instrument that wobbles the most is the pipe organ, and the second-most wobbly is the saxophone. So how much one dislikes the sax depends in part on how sensitive one is to wobbling.

Another factor is that there is quite a tradition of playing the sax in an ugly manner. I mean such things as making it honk, spit and break. These things are just gimmicks, and they get on the nerves after a while. (I remember eating in a Cajun restaurant once where I wanted to take an Uzi to the speakers.)

On the other hand it can be quite beautiful, as in the Serenade in Pictures at an Exhibition as arranged by Ravel.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 11:35 PM

Definitely, the musical saw.

Art


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 02:01 AM

Sorry: I meant "Tape Recorder"






There are lots of good answers here. I'd lean towards cello, saw & clarinet. (serious answer this time)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: patriot1314
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 03:51 PM

it's got to be the kazoo as it is after all just a distorted human voice.

Blues Guitarist Walter Trout does a song in his stage act where his guitar plays the part of his girlfriend!
He "mimes" the words whilst he plays the notes....... And you can understand every word!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 04:24 PM

Have a listen to Rory McLeod when he does one of his Harmonica/vocal numbers. It's difficult to spot thje change with your eyes shut.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human vo
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 08:33 AM

Generally, and subject to debate, of course ('though not to my mind)"

Number 1: cello
Number 2: tenor sax

Sidenote - human voice most resembling a tenor sax: Barbra Streisand (specfically listen to the opening of her early recording of "What Are You Doing With The Rest of Your Life")


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Scrump
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 08:43 AM

Good point GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler - he's brilliant, I didn't think of him earlier.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 08:43 AM

Yamaha! Why don't you put in a few Blue Click thingies so we can hear the recordings that you consider as resembling the human voice?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 12:31 PM

I think the answer is a piano !! When I was quite young,about 50 years ago, I remember hearing a record,on the radio,where the piano actually said "Sparky ! " several times ! AND-- There was a TUBA that could not only talk, but did impreesions of Danny Kaye,or someone like that.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 12:34 PM

Funny they didn't manage that on T.V. Bubblyrat. You don't think they were having you on?


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Alec
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM

Sparky,who I mentioned upthread,was actually a vocoder.His adventures are still available on C.D.(Think we had a thread on this about a year back)If I remember correctly the Tuba was called Tubby.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: John Hardly
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 12:47 PM

Like catspaw, I would say that an instrument that requires air to sound is quite probably going to contain similar phrasing to the human voice. I've always thought that the harmonica was the most imitative of the human voice in phrasing, timbre, and pitch.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 12:57 PM

There's often a stop on an old harmonium (the reed-organ thing with foot pumps) called 'vox humana'. That sounds nowt like anybody I know.

'Sparky's Magic Piano' used a vocoder. You can get an approximation by speaking through a harmonica. This record was mentioned earlier but I should point out that the boy is called Sparky not the piano.

I'll get me anorak!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 10:46 PM

The Kazoo! It IS the human voice.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 11:05 PM

I can't find it now, but somebodynominated "trombone." I might make a difference if the voice is speaking or singing, but in all the John Wayne movies I ever saw, the Duke sounded just like a trombone to me.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Bert
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 08:46 PM

Well somebody has to say it.

"Kendall, I though you had got your voice back" *HEE HEE*


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 02:08 PM

When some voices approximate the sound of an instrument such as Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby McPheron, Al Jarreau or others, they can do it quite convincingly but not to the point where it replaces the ability of the instrument in the hands of a master musician but their voice then becomes their instrument.

I advocate, kendall, that every good musician's instrument is his/her "voice" and carries that uniqueness in phrasing, tone, rhythm, breathing etc. There is no disputing that Miles Davis' angelic horn was his unique "voice" when he played although he spoke with a raspy growl.

You might ask which voice is closest to what instrument and find some interesting comparisons there. A lot has to do with the individual frequencies of either human voice or instrument which affect the timbre. It's interesting to hear any master musician play different instruments and they bring to each one their own "voice". They often (if they can) sing the way the play or vice versa.

Some folkies baffle me because they react to the "harshness" or "edge" of a saxophone but tolerate the nasal growling or belting of their fave folk singer.

Again, one person's taste is another's bitterness.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Doug
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 07:02 AM

I am going with Percy Grainger and saying Saxophone...


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 07:25 AM

The Sonovox


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 07:57 AM

Armenian duduk/Azeri balaban.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 08:28 AM

I still say the Sax sounds like a hungry cow.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 09:13 AM

My friend the music major tells me that all instruments oscillate around the note they are playing. i.e,, they move up in pitch and down in pitch while playing a given note. If they played a note 'pure' it would sound like a computer beep.

The saxophone is the instrument which wobbles the most. The pipe organ comes in second. To me, the saxophone wobbles too much. I do not like it and never have. When I was younger, I didn't like pipe organ either, but now I've changed and pipe organ is okay.

I guess if a singer wobbled a lot, then a saxophone would sound like that singer. However, it's up to the listener whether he likes either one.   
=========
I think one instrument that resembles a voice is the recorder, especially a lower recorder such as a tenor or bass.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 01:15 PM

I love saxophones; especially three at time in the mouth of Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Otherwise, I suppose it all depends on the voice really - the one most favoured in this respect was the zink / cornett / cornet a bouquin, call it what you will.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 01:26 PM

You may think you are going to trick me into clicking on that link and subjecting myself to three saxophones at once, but you're not.

:)


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Gurney
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 01:41 PM

Forgotten Acker Bilk, haven't we! That throbbing, woody sound that he could wring out of his E-Flat clarinet.
Or clarionet, as he called it.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 03:53 PM

Fear not, Leeneia - he only plays two at once on that clip (and stylophone during the intro rap) but he did do three as can be seen in this picture HERE. He was one of the few people who could circular breath on the flute whilst playing a recorder up his nose. No gimmick either - pure genius!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 04:47 PM

To me, in the hands of many musicians, the saxophone sounds like someone is torturing a duck!

But let's get serious here.

How it all started.

And the glorious career it led to.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 05:54 PM

In expert hands, a cornett, not to be confused with a cornet.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 09:23 PM

Don, you have opened doors to worlds I never dreamed existed.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Rayzor North Carolina USA
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 10:48 PM

The Theremin (I hope I spelled that right)can sound very much like a human voice but also like some music from space.


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: GUEST,Luigi Umbelino
Date: 10 May 11 - 04:03 PM

My high school band director told me that the instrument closest to the human voice was the one I was playing...the Euphonium!!!! alson known as the Baritone Horn. Really cool!!!


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Subject: RE: Opinions please-instrument closest to human voice?
From: SunRay
Date: 10 May 11 - 04:49 PM

The clarinet is the instrument which I think could best imitate the attitude of a human voice.


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