Feb 17, 2020
Imperfect Harmony: Singing Through Life's Sharps and Flats
Posted by Stacy Horn

Why do we sing For Stacy Horn, singing in a community choir the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York is the one thing in her life that never fails to take her to a transcendent place and remind her that everything good is possible She s not particularly religious and she ll be the first to point out her voice isn t exactly the stuff of legend, but like thousandsWhy do we sing For Stacy Horn, singing in a community choir the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York is the one thing in her life that never fails to take her to a transcendent place and remind her that everything good is possible She s not particularly religious and she ll be the first to point out her voice isn t exactly the stuff of legend, but like thousands of other amateur chorus members throughout this country and the world, singing with other people makes her happy As Horn relates her funny and profound experiences as a choir member, she treats us to an eclectic history of group singing and the music that moves us, whether we re hearing it for the first time or the hundredth the dramatic stories of conductors and composers and discoveries from the new science of singing, including the remarkable physical benefits of song Life can be hard, battles continue to rage all around us, and by midlife most of us have had our share of disappointments Here is the unexpected story of one woman who nevertheless has found joy and strength in the weekly ritual of singing some of the greatest music humanity has ever produced.

  • Title: Imperfect Harmony: Singing Through Life's Sharps and Flats
  • Author: Stacy Horn
  • ISBN: 9781616200411
  • Page: 450
  • Format: Paperback
  • Imperfect Harmony Singing Through Life s Sharps and Flats Why do we sing For Stacy Horn singing in a community choir the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York is the one thing in her life that never fails to take her to a transcendent place and remind

    Angela Risner

    Stacy Horn is a writer by trade, but has found a secondary home in the Choral Society of Grace Church for the past 30 years She doesn t dream of stealing the scene with a solo nor does she desire to one day conduct the choir She simply enjoys coming together with fellow music lovers and singing Having sung in choirs from my early childhood through young adulthood, I loved her observations about the music, the feelings, and yes, how first sopranos feel about the rest of the choir I didn t always [...]


    Monika

    Last week, I was browsing NetGalley for the very first time I was so excited to find Imperfect Harmony by Stacy Horn The subtitle and description grabbed me immediately I had to read this book I was thrilled to receive an email letting me know my request had been approved.Professionally, I m an instrumentalist, not a singer I m in the flute section of a symphony, I work as a church pianist, I teach private lessons, and I play chamber music, weddings, and other gigs The church choir where I work [...]


    Kate H

    I loved this I would have given it 5 stars but for one problem the book is divided up into chapters, some of which reference musical pieces which are then described in great detail If you are a general reader, or even a choral singer with limited knowledge of choral piece s i.e me , it is hard to fully understand what Horn is talking about Fortunately, there is Spotify and I used it to look up some of the pieces and listen to them.Unfortunately, I was disappointed in some of the pieces that Horn [...]


    Gail

    As one who sings in an auditioned volunteer choir, this book hits all the right notes I am completely swept up by the melodic phrases, the history of choral societies and the humility that is achieved by singing I hope there is an encore and repeat performance


    John

    I sing in a choir My wife doesn t I was only on page 42 of this book when I said to her, If you ever want to know why I love singing in choir so much read this book This book is the best expression I ve read of the joy of singing together in groups I laughed out loud repeatedly, I shivered with shared experience Throughout, I kept thinking to myself, I know exactly what she means Her descriptions of the physical effects the visceral sensation of singing harmony are especially powerful.If I have [...]


    Melody

    I picked this up free at ALA Midwinter because one of my dearest friends is a singer in a choir, and my son also sang when he was in high school I enjoyed parts of this very much I loved Horn s descriptions of what it is like to sing, how the feelings one has when creating music are different from and probably superior to the feelings one gets when listening to music I really enjoyed her discussions of various pieces of music, and the music history in general I didn t like the memoir parts nearl [...]


    Mayda

    When you sing, you cannot be sad for long This quote from the book comes from a British study and sets the tone for this memoir I was under the mistaken impression that this book would be about the author s experiences in church choirs Not so The author was fortunate enough to be part of the Choral Society of Grace Church, a chorus that rehearses in the church, but was not part of the services there They were not learning anthems to sing every Sunday to enhance the worship experience rather they [...]


    Jacqueline Masumian

    Here s why this book deserves a 5 star rating Amazing It s amazing that someone could write a book about choral singing that is so much fun and so interesting When I bought the book, I was expecting something dry about how to be a better choral singer But what I got was a reminder of the joy and fun of standing next to other singers and making beautiful harmony As a choral singer, I found the book delightful.Stacy Horn provides a fascinating narrative about choral pieces she has sung and the exc [...]


    Claire

    This book really spoke to me A beautifully written account of a woman s 30 year career of singing with the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York She captures so many of the feelings I have with singing in a choir the struggles, challenges, but most of all the joy coming together as a group to create beautiful music The author takes us through a journey of some of the greatest choral music ever written, while also providing great insight into the history of music, singing groups, conductors [...]


    Julia

    This is an intimate look at what it s like to sing in a chorus For musicians like me who love playing an instrument and listening to music just not singing it , this was a real treat Stacy Horn shares her knowledge and experiences as a member of the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York City She seamlessly weaves personal and professional stories together in a charming memoir that than once sent me to the internet to look up a piece of music I learned so much about the dynamics of choral s [...]


    Anne Wright

    I devoured this delicious memoir of an ordinary singer who becomes a part of something extraordinary once a week as she joins other singers in the Grace Chapel Community Choir After many years away from choir singing, I returned this winter to a community chorus and, happily, one of my new Alto II singing acquaintances recommended this book So as I was learning Mozart s Grand Mass in C Minor, Stacy Horn was regaling me with her stories coupled with the history, memorabilia and benefits of choral [...]


    Lorie Allion

    I loved this book There were some times where I thought she digressed into talking about herself in ways unrelated to music, but it well worth getting through those Her descriptions of the way it feels to experience music in many different ways made me smile and cry and laugh I don t know if people who don t love music would understand, and I have music lover friends who thought there was too much talk about specific pieces but I loved every music related word in it


    Nancy

    Oh, my god, I love this book I love the way it combines broad historical and uniquely personal stories But most of all, I love the passion for choir singing, and I love the way she talks about music and singing If I wasn t already in a choir, it would inspire me to go find one immediately.Also, I highlighted so many lines in this It just really resonated with me.


    Joyce

    This book inspired me to want to sing often in community settings Great read.


    Sandra

    Recommended for choral singers Stacy Horn articulates that happy feeling one gets when singing together, a kind of human interconnectedness that doesn t seem to happen anywhere else.


    Zoann

    Quick history of vocal singing, told through the author s participation with one of the oldest amateur singing groups in New York City Makes me want to join a choir again


    Kaye Sivori

    Beautiful book on singing in choirs, but got too detailed and technical for my liking.


    Nick

    Years ago I read a similar book on the experience of choral singing A little memoir, some sociology, a peek at the scientific literature on music and how it effects the human brain People love singing so much that I suspect this is a mini genre.Pluses Good insights into the social aspects of choral communities Oh no the singer with the inerrant sight reading skills isn t here today Good description of the legal and business side of running a choral group Good discussion of how to inculcate profe [...]


    Barbara

    Each chapter focuses on a choral work She delves into the composer s life and circumstances and context in History Horn s personal life and struggles are intertwined with the experience of singing each work The community and relationships created and nurtured when singing with others go far beyond the notes I hope this book encourages people to joinSinging groups and see for themselves the marvelous effects of singing In Harmony.


    Brian

    A thoroughly engrossing testimony to the power of singing.Ms Horn has written an interesting account of her life as a choral singer With all it s beauty and angst Anyone who has sung in a choir at some point would appreciate the books analysis of major repertoire, historical content, and the author s joy in the experience that is singing in a choral setting.


    Rose

    I enjoyed the historical aspects of this book Social, technological and musical history all added interest Googling composers and choristers then enjoying their music on YouTube was fun.


    Lexish

    Entertaining light reading if you re a choir nerd and probably not very interesting if you re not.


    Tim Lewis

    Premise Through life s trials and disappointments, Stacy Horn found joy in in one aspect of her life singing in a community choir In this autobiographical account of her time spent in the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York she accounts for the constant encouragement and bliss found through singing with other people In her constant search for companionship and happiness, Stacy s one part of her life that regularly brings her joy is the community choir in her neighborhood She walks to the [...]


    Debbie

    I have sung in community and church choirs for many years and singing has carried me through the ups and downs of life I don t know what I would do without music in my life In this book, Stacy Horn shares her experiences singing in choir and she really captured what it is like the endless rehearsals, the camaraderie one finds in choir in spite of many different personalities, the nervousness before a performance, and that glorious moment at the end of a concert when there is just a heartbeat of [...]


    Patricia

    Thank you, Stephanie Harris, for recommending this book to us in Schola Nova I loved it I want to give it out as gifts Stacy Horn, a 1st soprano who felt demoted when asked to sing 2nd soprano until she learned how delicious it is , is a very good writer She researched and interviewed and pulled together so many stories from history, particularly American, east coast history, and especially the history of her choir, the Choral Society of Grace Church in downtown New York Her own, personal storie [...]


    Debra

    Lovelyngers will love it and non singers will want to and should start singing immediately.


    Alyson

    Ever since I can remember, I ve always loved singing One of my favorite things to do as a kid besides bury my nose in a book was to sing along with musicals, pop songs, whatever got stuck in my head It never mattered to me whether I had an audience Usually I didn t The sheer joy of the experience was what mattered most Imperfect Harmony Finding Happiness Singing with Others is one of the most pleasant surprises I ve stumbled upon in a while, because it s all about the joy of singing something I [...]


    Kim

    When I first read this book s description I thought, Damn, I could have written that book After reading it I think, Damn, I wish I could have written that book.Stacy Horn sings in a choir I sing in a choir She worries that no one she knows will sit next to her Me, too She sings Soprano 1 I sing Soprano 1 But this is a book about than an individual s experience.This is a book about singing in a choir This is a book is about the history of choral singing, choral pieces and their composers This is [...]


    Katherine

    I want to give this book six stars Ten All the stars Full disclosure I have been singing with a chorus for seventeen years now We ve done a bunch of the pieces the author talks about in this book And I have the fortune of singing for a talented and passionate director, much as the author does I can identify strongly with the experience she describes.I didn t start off loving the book, as the author is a soprano and literally refers to having the good notes in her vocal part as an alto, I take se [...]


    Amy

    Current memoirs seem to fall into one of two categories stuntblogging, or embarking on a contrived project in order to produce quasi amusing memories for a book deal or research memoir hybrids, in which the author weaves his or her own experience into a historical retrospective of the larger topic IMPERFECT HARMONY falls into the latter category, since I have sworn off of stuntbloggers for the foreseeable future I think if I had read this reporter writer s other works, her personal story would h [...]



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