Voices of the World

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Le Chant du Monde
ALBUM TITLE: An Anthology of Vocal Expression
WORKS:
PERFORMER: Various
CATALOGUE NO: CMX 3741010 12 ADD

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Education is the main purpose of Voices of the World, a huge, structured compilation of short extracts from almost everywhere (Britain is apparently deemed a land without music, though so is Germany). Use it like a book, and it will reveal that most of us understand only a fraction of the singing voice’s potential.

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If you think you know about ornamentation, try the pulsing, pitch-switching Lebanese version. There are overtone singers from South Africa as well as Mongolia, and the pungent harmonies of Corsican and Sardinian choirs to confound prejudices about European conformity. You may, however, find opera a bit one-dimensional afterwards. The documentation is superb – in fact, it is a book – and all music students should use it.