Vocal Adventures

Exploring Pathways of Appreciation

To foster an awareness and appreciation of music by listening and coming to appreciate how the diverse application of shared elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture vocalizations and form gives rise to such diverse expressive pathways revealing an inner beauty of the human spirit.

Here are links to music performances showing diverse styles and performance as voiced around the world; each expressing a component part of a global diverse counterpoint of cultural contrast. Enjoy yourself and do check on the links.

Without support from authoritive references this site would not be possible.

In Counterpoint of Cultural Contrast

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The human voice:

An instrument of such power, beauty, natural and seemingly unnatural performance heard in diverse striking contrast as voiced throughout the music of mankind.

An Arabic Prayer for Divine Mercy:

kalamation — March 26, 2008 — An Arabic prayer for God's Mercy. In the tradition of the Church of Antioch founded by Sts. Paul and Barnabas, whose first bishop was the Apostle Peter. Where the faithful were first called Christians. From the Troparia of Penitence, Ceremony of Forgiveness, Byzantine Worship.

Have mercy on us oh Lord, for lacking as we are in all defense.
We  sinners 0ffer You this supplication
As you are Lord, have mercy upon us.
Glory to the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son, the Father.
Have mercy upon us oh Lord, for we have placed all our trust in You.

Do not be greatly angered with us.
Remember our iniquities, but look upon us now with Your compassion and save us from our enemies.
For you are our God and we your people.
We are all the works of Your hands and upon Your Name do we call.
Now and ever and unto ages of ages: Amen.




Call to Prayer:

OnlyTurth — April 05, 2008 — Muslims use the human voice to announce the times of prayer to the community. The adhan is the call to prayer itself, and the person who calls it is called the muadhan.
The following is an English followed by the Arabic translation
God is Great (said four times)
I bear witness that there is no god except the One God . (said two times
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God. (said two times)
Hurry to the prayer (Rise up for prayer) (said two times)
Hurry to success (Rise up for Salvation) (said two times)
God is Great (said two times)
There is no god except the One God
In Arabic below:
Allahu Akbar (said four times)
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah. (said two times)
Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah(said two times)
Hayya 'ala-s-Salah
Hayya 'ala-l-Falah
Allahu Akbar
La ilaha illa Allah

Churches avidly endorse Jesus as the only begotten Son of God.
Mosques extoll Muhammed as a divine Messenger of the final Truth (Word) of Allah (God).

Yet Islam and Christianity both proclaim the greatness of God; That there is only the one true God and that it is beneficial to come to the divine Presence in true worship.

Thus, which one of these beautiful chanted prayers above represents divine reality or may or may not be endorsed by the God of all being, The Counselor of all peoples, wherein the light of unity may illumine the whole Earth?

Truly, is not the same truth declared by both? Where is the great division and cause for animosity? A Christian friend of mine once stated,"The Muslim prayer is very different from the Christian one because the style of the writing is different,". I ask "Is it not better that we look at the central message and not dwell on and emphasize the seeming difference resulting from peripheral social contexts of time and place"?

Franz Schubert was a prolific German composer. He wrote many kinds of music but is most remembered for his many romantic art songs.

Notice how the solo voice is accompanied. The standard notated music of chords and melody is very familiar to those acquainted with European/ Western music theory yet, this kind of music practice is quite different than what is heard in "Hindustani" or "throat singing".

Soprano Christine Schafer performs the Leider der Delphine. D 857 nº 1


Of  large dimensions and granduer.

Music can be  a way to inkindle concepts of cooperation, organisation and appreciation; inspiring an awareness of wonder and beauty within us all. This whole work is scored for large orchestra, chorus and soloists. All must work together if the complete whole is to be realized. To harness forces of this size and blend them into a rich evolving musical universe of expressive beauty of soul and sound is surely a bestowal of favor; a showcase of genius within the human spirit of creation and fellowship.;

Mahler - Symphony No. 8 - Ending (Simon Rattle conducts the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain)

The Barbershop Quartet:  Singing in four part harmony.

Barbershop harmony is based on four part singing. One of the rules when writing this style of music is that none of the four parts can be doubled. In other words, no unison or octave intervals are used. Each voice must at all times carry its own part and be an integral part of the harmonic structure.

For four part writing that means utilizing very complex chord structures. Dominant seven chords, such as C,E,G, Bflat are commonly used but many varieties of major, minor, augmented and diminished forms of " six", "seven" and even "nine" chords are used as well.

Barbershop singing utilizes the physics of overtone harmonic generation. A good quartet works hard at blending parts together in just the right combination of tone and loudness so as to "ring" the chords. When this is done well pitches may be heard that are not actually sung. The blending of the harmonies themselves produces a "fifth" tone.

The physics involved is difficult to capture in a recording so often the "chord ringing" effect will be lost; but, trust me, it is there in a live performance,

  The Barbershop Harmony Society is proud to present your 2009 International Quartet Champions....representing the Central States District...Crossroads!!!!!!!! They opened their semi-final set with this rendition of 'Lucky Old Sun' arranged by David Wright.

Crossroads-2009 International Quartet Champions

Rap is a type of music that is deeply personal. It is a product and voice of frustraion and a vehicle of statement. Often woes of racism, substandard living and/or political statements are heard. Outcry against injustice and pleas for equal rights lie at the heart of Rap.

This being the case, many listeners not personally involved in the dynamics of Rap my find it vulgar and distasteful. Expression of generations old bitterness does not lend itself to socially excepted pleasantries and "niceness" of content.

Yet, Rap is surely a form of music in its own right. It showcases what we do to ourselves; and bring on to ourselves.

The music form is of interest. The voice is prominant while the instruments provide a constant repeating backdrop. Highly articulated vocal inflection, recitation and complex syncopation  contrast sharply with the simple 4/4 beat style of the accompaniment.

Lyrics and text are of central importance. The whole purpose of the music is to set the stage whereby the emotion, color and flavor of the message may be captured and implemented.

Both selections to the right are good examples of rap used both as a political tool and as an outlet for personal expression.

Rap is a form of music that stemmed from hip-hop culture. Hip hop is a lifestyle with its own lingo, dress code, etc. In the words of KRS-One, "hip-hop is something you live, rap is something you do."

Hip-Hop Defined:

Hip-hop is a form of popular music that's comprised mainly of emceeing and deejaying. The other two components that complete the four elements of hip-hop are graffiti and breakdancing. As hip-hop evolves into big business, the four elements (emceeing, deejaying, graffiti, and breakdancing) are constantly being merged with others like clothing trends, slang, and general mindset.

Hip-Hop Started in the Bronx:

A product of cross-cultural integration, rap is deeply rooted within ancient African culture and oral tradition. Hip-hop is believed to have originated in the Bronx by a Jamaican DJ named Kool Herc. Herc's style of deejaying involved reciting rhymes over instrumentals. At house parties, Herc would rap with the microphone, using a myriad of in-house references. Duplicates of Herc's house parties soon drifted through Brooklyn, Manhattan. Herc and other block party DJs helped spread the message of hip-hop around town and spawned tons of followers.

Hip-Hop As a Melting Pot:

Hip-hop as a musical melting pot is still evolving. It has become more eclectic, borrowing from soul, jazz and live instrumentations with the likes of De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and most recently Kanye West championing the ‘soulful rap’ movement. http://rap.about.com/od/rootsofraphiphop/p/RootsOfRap.htm

Fear - 'Hate' (a Hip-Hop classic from '95) - new version!!!
Samples Special Ed "cause i'm coming with a hate only made from what it made me" from Crooklyn Dodgers' Crooklyn Dodgers, 1994.


juma4 September 07, 2008Nini dhambi kwa mwenye dhiki by X Plastaz
This is East African / Tanzanian Hip Hop. Last video of the late mc Faza Nelly from X Plastaz, Tanzania's most well known hip hop crew who merge Swahili rap and traditional Maasai music. This video to the song 'Nini dhambi kwa mwenye dhiki?' about poverty in Tanzania was partly recorded on top of Ol Doinyo Lengai, a remote, active volcano and the Maasai's 'Mountain of God' which had its 1st major eruption in years the day after Nelly died.

For a complete English translation of this song click on this link: http://www.xplastaz.com/archive/v2/ninidhambi-eng.html


A different dimension of vocal technique 

Listen as the the singer carefully tunes and aligns the voice to blend in with and find expression through minute controlled change of inflection and tone. Acuity of nuance, pitch with subtle shadings of consonant/ dissonant intervals is breathtaking.



"Throat Singing"

Throat singing is an art form that is virtually unknown in the West. Yet this kind of singing in various forms of voice production technique is heard through parts of China, Siberia and Arabia. Below are two examples of throat singing.

More examples of the little known art of throat singing can be heard here.


This Mongolian master produces incredible harmonics in his singing. Even a melody is produced through a layered harmonic reonances

Mongolian Incredible Throat Singing 呼麦

Khoomei or Humai (in China) is the most incredible and distinctive vocal performance in Mongolia. Sometimes described as throat singing. It is said that through this method, harmony of up to 4 layers can be produced at the same time!

John Pascuzzi is playing the "igil", and Steve Sklar is Throat-Singing. From an upcoming DVD and CD by Ron Mulvihill and Gris-Gris Films. John Pascuzzi at

http://aSingleThread.com http://oddm...

"Native American "Indian"

Native American singing reflects a deep spiritual awareness symbolized by the relationship between "Mother Earth" and "Father Sky".

Tradition melodies starting at a high pitch and ending a lower portray the relationship of man with the Great Spirit, Spirit of Truth and the inner self...an expression of a form of Trinity.

Below are two examples of Native American singing.

Click here to visit a page devoted to music of the Native American Indian.

Apache Mountain Spirit Dance

a marvelous traditional mountain spirit song from the great Apache  

 Navajo Yeibichai Chant

Navajo Yeibichai Chant Painting from http://www.firstpeople.us/n...


Note: This site on "Global Music Appreciation" is a work in progress. Thie main purpose of being online at this point of development is to allow collaborators and friends to view the progress, make suggestions and provide comments.

You may find "scratch notes" concerning future implementaion of goals. Pages will still be partially complete or even blank.

Yet, there is still an ever-evolving growing selection of music from around the world linked too in this site. You are welcome to look, play and experience music as performed from around the world.