Those Dang Tenors

Posted by AJ Harbison at 1:31 am

I made myself a mix CD of some of the random stuff I’ve purchased on iTunes so I could listen to it in the car as well as on my computer and iPod. I always like to sing along to music when I’m in the car, and so I looked forward to the opportunity to sing along with these songs for the first time. These are the first few tracks:

1. “How Far We’ve Come” from Exile On Mainstream (Matchbox Twenty)

2. “I’ll Believe You When” from Exile On Mainstream (Matchbox Twenty)

3. “All Your Reasons” from Exile On Mainstream (Matchbox Twenty)

4. “These Hard Times” from Exile On Mainstream (Matchbox Twenty)

5. “If I Fall” from Exile On Mainstream (Matchbox Twenty)

6. “Can’t Let You Go” from Exile On Mainstream (Matchbox Twenty)

7. “Africa” from The Essential Toto (Toto)

8. “Ten Thousand Angels” featuring Derek Webb (single) (Caedmon’s Call)

9. “Bad Day” from Daniel Powter (Daniel Powter)

10. “Harder To Breathe” from Songs About Jane (Maroon 5)

11. “She Will Be Loved” from Songs About Jane (Maroon 5)

12. “Tangled” from Songs About Jane (Maroon 5)

All this to say, when I put the CD in the car and tried to sing along, I found that every single song had at least parts that were too high for me. (I’m a baritone / bass I.) I’ve noticed the same thing in Christian worship music (especially the Passion group–Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman, etc.): namely, that there are just way too many tenors. It seems like almost every male lead singer for popular rock bands is a tenor. Where are the baritones and basses? Has anyone else ever noticed this fact?



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    Darth_Harbison on 06.06.2008

    Here’s my theory. Since I’d guess that most males are baritones/basses, the ones who are tenors realize that they have a (somewhat) special ability, and they explore that.

    The second time we did Pollyanna at LifeHouse, at the first music rehearsal, Mitch was separating us into our sections so we could learn harmonies, and he said, “Okay, so tenors over here. And if you’re not sure if you’re a tenor or not, you’re not.” So . . . the implication to me was that tenors are generally more aware of their singing ability, and so are more inclined to pursue it.

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