all which isn't singing is mere talking and all talking's talking to oneself (E E Cummings: from poem 32 of '73 poems') Reasons briefly set down by the author, to perswade every one to learn to sing. First, it is a knowledge safely taught and quickly learned, where there is a good Master, and an apt Scholler. To shallow rivers, to whose falls Melodious birds sing madrigals There will we make our beds of roses And a thousand fragrant posies (William Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3, Scene 1) The exercise of singing is delightfull to Nature, and good to preserve the health of Man. It doth strengthen all parts of the brest and doth open up the pipes. It is a singular good remedie for stuttering and stammering in the speech. The ousel cock, so black of hue, With orange-tawny bill, The throstle with his note so true, The wren with little quill. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark, The plain-song cuckoo grey, Whose note full many a man doth mark, And dares not answer nay. (William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 1) It is the best means to procure a perfect pronunciation and to make a good Orator. It is the only way to know where Nature hath bestowed the benefit of a good voice: which gift is so rare, as there is not one among a thousand, that hath it. christ but they're few all (beyond win or lose) good true beautiful things god how he sings the robin (who 'll be silent in a moon or two) (E E Cummings: poem 33 from '73 poems') And in many, that excellent gift is lost because they want Art to express Nature. There is not any musicke of instruments whatsoever, comparable to that which is made of the voices of men, where the voices are good, and the same well sorted and ordered. The better the voice is, the meeter it is to honour and serve God there-with: and the voice of man is chiefly to be employed to that end. "Omnes Spiritus Laudes Dominum" Since Singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learn to sing. (William Byrd: Preface to "Psalms, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie" 1588)
- E. E. Cummings: all which isn't singing is mere talking
- William Byrd: Preface to "Psalms, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie"
- William Shakespeare: To shallow rivers...
- William Shakespeare: The ousel cock, so black of hue
- E. E. Cummings: christ but they're few
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Matthew King (b. 1967), "A Song of Byrds", 2006 [soprano, mezzo-soprano soli, chorus, and orchestra], from The Season of Singing, no. 2. [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2010-04-10
Line count: 54
Word count: 382