Cantare, la chiave per una lunga vita

Danny segnala un bell’articolo, (qui l’originale in inglese, del 2008). Inizia così:

  • “Credo nel cantare, credo nel cantare insieme.” Poi continua: “cantare è la chiave di una lunga vita, una bella figura, un temperamento stabile, un aumento d’intelligenza, nuovi amici, migliore auto-stima, un’attrattiva sessuale migliore e migliore senso dell’humor. Uno studio recente a lungo termine (fatto in Svezia) ha cercato le attività legate a una vita lunga, sana e felice. Tre fattori sono stati evidenziati: campeggiare, danzare, cantare.”
  • “Qualche tempo fa con un amico, ci siamo accorti che amavamo cantare ma che non lo facevamo molto. Così abbiamo attivato un gruppo settimanale a cappella, con soli 4 membri. Dopo un anno, abbiamo iniziato a invitare altre persone. Non abbiamo insistito sull’esperienza musicale – infatti alcuni dei nostri membri non avevano mai cantato. Ora il gruppo è esploso a 15 o 20 persone.”

Mi pare sia di buon auspicio per H2VOX, per la salute completa dei suoi cantori e che ci sia abbastanza da impegnarsi tutte le volte che la tentazione di poltrire è forte. Piccolo sforzo iniziale, grande ricompensa poi. Il testo che segue è questo (la traduzione alla prima occasione):

  • Well, there are physiological benefits, obviously: You use your lungs in a way that you probably don’t for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly. And there are psychological benefits, too: 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.
  • Well here’s what we do in an evening: We get some drinks, some snacks, some sheets of lyrics and a strict starting time. We warm up a bit first.
  • The critical thing turns out to be the choice of songs. The songs that seem to work best are those based around the basic chords of blues and rock and country music. 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.
  • But singing isn’t only about harmonizing pitch like that. It has two other dimensions. The first one is rhythm. It’s thrilling when you get the rhythm of something right and you all do a complicated rhythm together: “Oh, when them cotton balls get a-rotten, you can’t pick very much cotton.” So when 16 or 20 people get that dead right together at a fast tempo that’s very impressive. But 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.
  • So I believe in singing to such an extent that if I were asked to redesign the British educational system, I would start by insisting that group singing become a central part of the daily routine. I believe it builds character and, more than anything else, encourages a taste for co-operation with others. This seems to be about the most important thing a school could do for you.