segunda-feira, 7 de setembro de 2009

When were you first bitten by the music bug?

Well, to me it happened when I was 6 or 7 years old. My mother took me to a Disney cartoon movie about a whale that had three uvulas. The whale had a tenor, baritone and bass voice. I don't know what it was, but I was in awe of this animal that sounded like three opera singers. From that day on I fell in love with opera. I would scream all over the house at the top of my lungs in an attempt to sound as robust as the voices I had heard in the movie. Much later I would actually be able to sing in an opera, but that's another story. How about you, dear readers? When were you first bitten by the music bug? I added a link to a video of the cartoon "Willie, the operatic whale".

15 comentários:

  1. hahahahaha
    Wow, Luiz. You just took me back all the way to my childhood again. Thanks for that!

    In my case, music has always been a part of my life. My mother plays the guitar really well. And she learned by herself (she's 67 now, and to this day she doesn't know the names of the chords or how to read music). So, from an early age, I already wanted to learn how to play as well. And the rest is history, as they say. The first album I bought was "The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star". I was 11 then. I started playing the guitar when I was 12, and it was all rock'n'roll after that!

    Check it out...

  2. I have no music talent whatsoever, but I love music. I remember when I watched this cartoon. I loved it so much, but instead of making me interested in opera, it made me angry at people who hurt animal, starting me off as a fierce defender of animal rights.

  3. aha, Luiz! See, you really got the interactive idea here, a conversation in which we want to be part of...We want to say something about it, it's personal, it touches you, ticks you...

    Well, you certainly brought back great memories. I'd say that the music bug stung me and stimulated me in different ways. My mom has always had a powerful voice and I still remember listening to her as she sang with a group of friends at home. My father loved opera and as a good Italian would sing from his lungs when we traveled by car old Italian songs from Pepino di Capri, Figaro...Then, ballet...As I wanted to be a ballerina, classical music inspired me and when I was 9, I was given as a birthday gift a whole vinyl collection of classical songs with the stories of the composers. An art work! And music has been part of my life ever since.

  4. Hi Luiz! Wow...As the other people said - we do go back in time when you ask this question. I have always been very much interested in music although I can't play any musical instrument and I'd have to have a lot of voice training to dare sing in public (lol). I love singing in the church, though. My father also plays the guitar very well. He also learned by himself and he used to sing when he was younger. Back to my own story I believe that ever since I started teaching English (back in 1989) music has become another tool to enhance my lessons. I am very eclectic but I always say I like "good" music - meaningful, inspirational lyrics. It's no wonder my favorite singer is Barbra Streisand followed by the likes of Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Loreena name but a few. People make jokes around here because more often than not they'll hear from me "ohh...reminds me of a song!" So nowadays when I do not say so they ask me "Is there any song???"
    My blog, created when I did the course with Carla last year was focussed on music and its power in the classroom. BTW, feel free to take a look there and leave comments. Last but not least I'd like to quote Streisand when she says "Music is the connective tissue among souls." I could not agree more.
    Thanks for the opportunity to reflect upon such an interesting topic.

  5. Este comentário foi removido pelo autor.

  6. I really can't put my finger on when I was first bitten by the music bug, but I do remember my mom's sweet voice, her beautiful pieces on the piano and dad's waking us up with sound and loud classical. Music has been my companion really, it makes me cry and smile. I just can't imagine my life without it!

  7. Hi, Luiz.

    Before I make my "music bug" response, I want to thank you for the link to the "Will the Operatic Whale" video. Although the story line was pure fantasy, the music was glorious. Thanks!


    When were you first bitten by the music bug?

    My Response:

    I've liked music most of my life; one of my grandmothers used to say that I could whistle before I could talk, as a matter of fact. However, I got seriously bitten by the music bug when I was eight or nine years old. I had a crush, then, on an "older woman" (she was 12 or 13) and played the flute, so I wanted to play the flute, too. Also, I wasn't athletic, and to combat my shyness, my father said I had to "go out" for basketball or for band, and I chose band.

    I wasn't very good at the flute at first, but I gradually got better. I also learned to play oboe just before I started high school. I played in the school bands, sang in the high school chorus (choir), got a BS degree in music education, and even taught music for three LONG years, but I found that even though I liked my students and fellow teachers, I HATED teaching music, so I sought an alternate career and by a happy accident discovered ESL/EFL. I got an MA in that field and worked in it for over 35 years.

    I didn't drop participation in music altogether, though: I was a church choir director for many years in the states of Texas, California, and Oregon. I stopped doing that when I moved to Arizona, but I still love choral music—in particularly the a capella singing you hear in Orthodox churches with a Russian and/or Ukrainian background. You can hear a good example by clicking HERE. In this YouTube video, a parish choir of the Orthodox Church in America (the church I was most active in) is rehearsing the way they sing the Nicene Creed. I hope you enjoy it!

    Best wishes from Phoenix—


  8. Well, Luiz Cláudio. I really can´t answer that... I love music! I used to play the piano, so did my mom and my sister, and my dad the accordion... I can´t imagine my life without music. As for opera, my folks are opera buffs, and so am I! Rock´n roll is my thing, but i get really touched by opera, it goes way into my core... I remember this cartoon, it really made cry... again...

    And sorry, but no RC concert for


  9. Dennis,
    Thank you for your response. I always look forward to all your comments. I thought you would like this post and the video, and you're right, the music is glorious. You know, all the voices were sung by Nelson Eddy,who was a pretty decent movie baritone. I don't know if you remember the Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald movies. My brother and I had a lot of fun with them, a fact which accounts for the fact that we're opera buffs now.
    The video link you sent is amazing. The choir is excellent! What a great experience it must have been to be involved in this group. I sang in a choir for many years and I miss it till this day.
    See you,

    Luiz Claudio

  10. Alba,
    Thanks for your reponse. I never imagined your parents were opera people. We do learn different things on the Web, don't we?
    BTW, you will miss a great concert. RC is the king, you know?

  11. Hi again, Luiz Cláudio.

    Yes, I remember Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald. I've watched a number of their movies. I enjoy movie classics, especially when they have a musical component!

    I also enjoy opera, but I'm not really an opera buff. I once had a roommate who was, though: he was particularly fond of Wagner, and his idea of a perfect weekend was to play, continuously during his waking hours, operas from the Ring Cycle.

    I sang in choirs for about 40 years, and I directed Orthodox choirs for more than half of that time. I haven't done either for a number of years, but, like you, I still miss the experience.

    I wasn't involved with the choir in the video, but it reminds me of choirs that I was involved with, and the music is typical of what you hear in churches which are part of the Orthodox Church in America (though the choirs in some parishes are not always as good as this one). I especially love music by Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox church choirs, particularly when they sing richly harmonized compositions from the 18th and 19th Centuries.

    Here's another present for you.

    All the best—


  12. When I was about 5 or 6 years old I was bitten.
    My mother took me to her friend's house, Ms. Flavita. In there always was a circle of musicians playing the best of samba. I was watching closely and when there was a pause, the musicians made a point to make the children play the instruments. Since then, I fell in love with percussion instruments and the samba.


  13. Dennis,
    Thanks for the extra present you sent to me. Great video and great singing indeed. What was the last note that guy sang! It's so low. Amazing. I am not a bass but my singing teacher was and I still remember how amazing a really low note can sound when properly sung. By the way, do you speak Russian? I don't but if you do congrats. One of my favorite operas is Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky and I love the sound of the Russian language.

  14. Hi again, Luiz Cláudio.

    Re the extra present, you're entirely welcome. I thought you might like it.

    I'm not sure what pitch the lowest note was, but it sounded like (maybe) a low D (below the last line of the bass clef). I don't have any easy way to check it right now.

    The Russians have a long tradition of very low-pitched bass singers; they're called octavists (or oktavists). See this Wikipedia article.

    You can hear a famous octavist, Vladimir Pasuikov, singing in this YouTube video.

    I speak a little Russian (or more accurately, a little "Kitchen Russian"), but the "Russian" I most often heard when I was a choir director in Orthodox Church of America parishes was usually Rusyn—a dialect spoken mostly in the Carpathian Mountains. This dialect is actually closer to Ukrainian than Russian, and it also shares features with Czech and Slovak (and in some places, Polish). What I know is a few stock phrases and the names of a lot of foods!

    I also like Boris Godunov.

    Best wishes as always—


  15. I guess I didn´t answer this question, so here it goes: I was nine years old and I remember crashing my seventeen year old neighbor´s parties. I remember listening to Santa Esmeralda and Tina Charles. When I was a teenager, I fell in love with Guilherme Arantes, that´s right. Planeta Água and Deixa Chover made me walk in the clouds. Then, Michael Jackson and Madonna came along and that was it.Good old days....