David M Howard’s book launch
by Andrew M Collins – 6th March 2015
Choral music has a long and rich history based on European church music, and can perhaps trace its roots way back to the Delphic hymns of 2nd Century BC Greece. It evolved from practice of chanting to include multiple melodic parts (polyphonal vocals), then morphed into sacred choral music during the Renaissance period of Western Europe. Choral performances also encompassed madrigals, ballets and villanelles. Composers of the late 19th century such as Mozart, Handel and Haydn wrote oratorios in the form of requiem masses.
Choir singing is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the United States. More and more people are finding their voice and expressing themselves. It seems it’s a very positive pursuit; a recent Turkish University study found that choir singing can help reduce anxiety and improve health.
The scope of the mechanics of vocalization, acoustics and the art of choral singing is clearly vast and complex. Choir conductor, singer, organist and Head of the Electronics Department at York University, David M Howard, has managed to succinctly and intelligently explain all this in his book Choral Singing and Healthy Voice Production.
It’s published by Willow Leaf Publishing based in Tunbridge Wells. Using both his singing background and knowledge of electronics and voice synthesis, he explains with great clarity how choral tuning, blend, harmonies and acoustic spaces work together.
The book launch took place at St. Sepulchre’s Church, Holborn Viaduct in London on 20th February. St. Sepulchre’s, dating back to 1137, is known as the Musicians Church and is also famous for its connection with John Smith of Pocahontas renown and Captain John Smith, the first Governor of Virginia.