this I believe: Brian Eno

this I believe
Singing: The Key To A Long Life
by Brian Eno
November 23, 2008

I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, … and a better sense of humor. A recent long-term study conducted in Scandinavia sought to discover which activities related to a healthy and happy later life.
Three stood out: camping, dancing and singing.

psychological benefits: Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness.
And then there are what I would call “civilizational benefits.” When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community.
That’s one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.

You want songs that are word-rich, but also vowel-rich because it’s on the long vowels sounds of a song such as “Bring It On Home To Me” (“You know I’ll alwaaaaays be your slaaaaave”), that’s where your harmonies really express themselves. And when you get a lot of people singing harmony on a long note like that, it’s beautiful.

the other thing that you have to harmonize besides pitch and rhythm is tone.
To be able to hit exactly the same vowel sound at a number of different pitches seems unsurprising in concept, but is beautiful when it happens.

Eno’s Group-Sing Song List:

Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley)
Love Me Tender
Keep On the Sunny Side
Sixteen Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken

If I Had a Hammer
Love Hurts
I’ll Fly Away
Down By the Riverside
Chapel of Love
Wild Mountain Thyme
Que Sera, Sera

Cotton Fields


4 thoughts on “this I believe: Brian Eno

  1. Pingback: 16 Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford) | franzcalvo

  2. Pingback: Will The Circle Be Unbroken | franzcalvo

  3. Pingback: If I Had a Hammer | franzcalvo

  4. Pingback: ‘Imperfect Harmony’: How Singing With Others Changes Your Life | franzcalvo

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