Why can't I sing?

Will Gompertz Can technology pull my voice into shape?

I have never been able to sing in tune - not even a bit. I have tried and failed and now I fail to try.

When called upon to do so (weddings, football matches etc) I take safety in numbers and mouth or murmur the words.

Sometimes my emotions get the better of me and I overreach myself and sing out. Within seconds people turn to me, their faces scowling, their eyes saying "I think he doth project too much".

So when the Culture Show asked me to find out why I couldn't sing, I grabbed the chance. Maybe there was a reason for my ineptitude; maybe there was a quick fix.

You can watch the results on the iPlayer here.

Will Gompertz Article written by Will Gompertz Will Gompertz Arts editor

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    Comment number 13.

    Will Gompertz's inability to sing - this is about the arts? This is relevant? In the year that the musical world is obsessed with the centenary of the death of Gustav Mahler THIS is what Mr. Gompertz thinks is important? So much for the arts!

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    Comment number 12.

    Hi Will, sorry to hear you can't sing. Must admit though, I dont remember it being one of your qualities back when you were in charge of the Gist magazine. I used to work for IGW all those years ago for Simon Harris. Looks like you have found your way into a very interesting new job.

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    Comment number 11.

    Dictionary.com definition of "aptitude" = "capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something; talent", Definition of "talent" = "a special natural ability or aptitude" Regardless of what you call it, it certainly exists (not just for music) and the majority of people don't have it - hard graft gets you to a certain level but no further. Talent without hard graft is wasted.

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    Comment number 10.

    Clare I am sorry to inform you that "talent" does not exist. It is a daft, unscientific pop culture term the definition of which is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding and over-simplification of the scientific concept of aptitude. Calling aptitude "talent" is akin to calling a magician a "wizard".

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    Comment number 9.

    My singing teacher summed it up to me succinctly: "It's not that your ear is broken it is just that it's lazy". Your ear just needs training to pick out pitches and intervals quickly with accuracy and to actually listen to and critically assess your own voice. A simple process that just takes a lot of time, effort and committment.


Comments 5 of 13



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