My hope is that if men see a huge variety of different kinds of men singing together, they might be inspired to get off the sofa and go and try it themselves.
Like the word ‘choir’, the concept of ‘men singing’ can bring up specific stereotypes – not all of them pleasing.
If there is not a relevant role model out there, it can easily put men off singing because they feel that they don’t fit the mould.
Rather than going into the whys and wherefores of why men don’t sing, I thought I’d just share some great examples of men singing together. Who knows, you may find an example that fits the bill. I hope they inspire you!
First up, something for this festive season: Port Isaac Fisherman’s Friends singing While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night.
Next, from a very different tradition, Jewish men singing at a Bar Mitzvah.
I absolutely adore singing from Eastern Europe. Here is a fine example from the coastal region of Croatia. It’s a tradition called Klapa which is from the Dalmatian coast. The word klapa translates as “a group of friends”. Here is Garifule bili by Klapa Ošlak.
Maybe a bit more familiar to our ears, a version of Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is you by Out of the Blue (OOTB), Oxford’s all-male a cappella group.
Next up is some Albanian polyphony which has been proclaimed by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible heritage of Humanity.”
Here is a Russian Orthodox choir from Moscow singing Chesnokov's Gabriel Appeared whilst on a European tour.
And now (as they say) for something completely different: Tuvan throat singing! One of the world’s oldest forms of music, throat singing is a type of overtone singing when more than one note is sounded at a time. Throat-singing is most identified with parts of Central Asia (such as Tuva, a predominantly rural region of Russia located northwest of Mongolia), but it is also practiced in northern Canada and South Africa where the technique takes on different styles and meanings.
Time for a couple of seasonal songs. First up is a barbershop version of Jingle Bells, arranged by Michael McGlynn of Anúna.
Next is one of my favourite Christmas carols, Veni, veni Emmanuel here sung by The Gesualdo Six and arranged by Philip Lawson.
And finally, here’s Milton singing The Man Song by Sean Morey. Enjoy!
You can find some more amazing examples of men singing in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 4.
I hope all your wishes and dreams come to fruition in 2016. Happy New Year to all my readers!