Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Posted Monday, March 29th 2021 by David McCall
May the road rise to meet you...
...May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face;
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you
In the palm of His hand.
-Traditional Gaelic Blessing
New York Vocal Coaching wishes you a happy and healthy St. Patrick's Day!
In celebration of our Irish friends, let's listen to some traditional Irish singing in the old style, or Sean-nós (pronounced shan nohss). Immediately you can hear major differences between Sean-nós and what may be on your Spotify shuffle.
Sean-nós songs and style are particular to Ireland, but they are thematically universal. They are songs about love, work, loss, and they all have rich, historical backstories that go with them.
Sean-nós performances are all about the lyrics of the song. They are sung unaccompanied, and the singer stands completely still; however, you'll hear plenty of vocal variety, including straight tone, free non-meter rhythm, melismas (riffs), and emphasis on the consonants l, m, n, & r to create a drone effect. Typically when a singer begins to sing, the crowd hushes and listens quietly--that is unless there is a repeated refrain for all to join!
What do you think of the Sean-nós style? Let us know on our instagram: @NewYorkVocalCoaching
Until next time, Happy Singing! Or Amhránaíocht Sona!
Senior Voice Teacher, Head of Vocal Development
David has become one of the leading instructors of Contemporary Voice in New York City, with clients ranging from Broadway singers (Billy Elliot, Matilda), Classical and sacred music singers, cantors in New York City Synagogues, to Professional Rock and Pop artists, some of which have toured and been signed to record contracts, appeared on shows like The Voice and American Idol, and performed at venues such as SXSW. Additionally, David has taught as a Master Teacher of Contemporary Voice for the NYSTA Comparative Vocal Pedagogy series.
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