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Singers’ Guide to Yoga

Protect your chords and harmonize your practice Meditation teachers in orange and white, clergy robed entirely in orange, and hundreds of devotees in summer pastels crowded the tropical pavilion in front of the mic where I was about to lead songs. Behind me was a flower-drenched stage from which our guru would soon bless and […]

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Lawrence, Kate, and Lilith: Looking Back at the Women’s Music Movement

first published in FolkWorks, March-April 2005; revised 2014 Ross Altman’s recent Folkworks article on the music of the IWW featured the 1912 “Bread and Roses” strike by women textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts and the now-famous song that the young strikers inspired. In the same issue, alongside Larry Wines’s cover story on present-day songwriters, all […]

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Voice and music—some favorite quotes

“If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.” —Daniel Webster “The best communications technology is the ear.”— Esther Dyson “A voice that is free, that feels its inherent right to speak, will have no fear of calling […]

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The Next “Voice Science”

[What public health, ethnology, and neuroscience have to do with it] In the mid-20th century, people started to understand how the vocal cords actually work. Nineteenth century singing teacher Manuel Garcia had famously arranged a mirror and candle to SEE his voice, but until technologies arrived to capture moving images of the cords as they […]

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The Vocal Big Bang

Just after midnight on January 1, 2000, my husband ran into our music room, grabbed a 30-inch brass gong and its mallet, and held them high as he opened the back door, then raised his arm for a massive hit. BANG! The gong’s rich, metallic vibes joined a cacophony of  car horns, shouting, and rattling pots and […]

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