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Warming up

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In Catholic monasteries you have monks going up early in the morning (or in the midfle of the night) to pray the Liturgy of the hours. They just start to sing without any warm up exercise whatsoever.

I discussed this with a vocal teacher who said that they use singing wich are closer to how we speak than other types of singing. But I am still not sure why I do neef warm ups instead of just singing something easy like the monks do (maybe they star of easily anyway).

What are your thoughts and reflections on this? 

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hey ILM,

I'm not sure what singing "closer to how we speak" really means.  Monks sing chants, Acappella, I can't think of anything about their singing that is "like" speech mode. If we look at the vocal modes we can see that each "type" of vocalization requires a different configuration of the vocal track or formant.

Speech- Very limited.  not for emphasizing melodies.

Sob- A crying sound, more specifically, the sound one makes when they're holding back a full blown fit of weeping, while they are singing.

Belt- Yelling, Anger, volume

Falsseto- A light airy sound, Feminine, tender. 

Opera-  A full and somewhat "covered" sound, "rounded" and robust. 

Quack- Increased compression and closure, similar to a cartoon character

Twang- Highly compressed, a “witchy,” nasal/mask focused sound 

Distorton- Anger, angst, violence, gritty/raspy sound.

If I were going to try and associate which of these modes most closely represents how monks sing chants, I'd say opera (with no vibrato) in a light mass. So I'd be interested in hearing details of how their singing is more like speech mode.

warm ups.

Warming up is about blood flow. Just like you stretch prior to playing an athletic sport. Increased blood flow will provide increased coordination, flexibility, consistency, and strength.

Warm up exercises/scales are usually designed to maximize or make most efficient, the process of warming up, or increasing blood flow. If you just sing a melody you know, it may not be as effective in taking the voice through the full spectrum of sound that you make when singing and hence, not be as an efficient of a warm up.

I hope this helps!



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