Monday, 14 September 2009

Doing and listening are different things

I'm sure it's one of those management guru words of wisdom, doing and listening are different things, but I'm thinking more of music.

Every now and then, someone asks me to buy a ticket to a concert. 'You're a singer,' they'll say. 'Wouldn't you like to come and hear the Tregrundy Male Voice Choir in concert?' Well, no, I wouldn't.

I do like listening to some music, notably Tudorbethan church music (there was an excellent programme on Tallis and Byrd on over the weekend - you can still catch it as I write on iPlayer). But my general attitude is typified by the way I feel about barbershop singing.

I first sang barbershop while at university, from the excellent Songs of Yale book (accept no substitutes). Singing barbershop is great fun - about half way between performing and getting drunk, really, which I guess I why it appeals to students. I've done it on and off with ad hoc groups ever since. But I can think of nothing worse than having to listen to barbershop. (Okay, I can think of a lot of things that are worse, starting with waterboarding and getting significantly nastier, but you know what I mean).

Lots of people do enjoy listening to barbershop, and I'm not criticizing them. It's wonderful they do like it. But it's not for me.
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