I have a vague recollection of posting a blog with the same title last Christmas – Descant!

I haven’t checked!

It is of interest to me at least, that the themes which come up, on which I feel compelled to write, will re-surface from time to time.

The blend of voices, in Christmas choral music speaks deeply to me of the power and authenticity of the range within the human voice.

From the angelic soprano voice of the choir boy (or girl) through the range to the deep bass tones of the men, blending to make each Christmas Carol sound rich and full and giving.

I have noticed the absence of voices in certain sections of the music, which enable the remaining participants to stand out and shine in the glow of their special contribution.

The descant, be it high or low, shrill or deep, beckons my ear to the depth and peak of the range within the performance, and it is those voices holding the melody, those voices doing the seemingly ordinary part, which give the descant its special place – without them, the descant would be out of place.

I have tried to think about my own voice being part of a choral piece in the everyday reality of speaking.

Can I be satisfied with being silent while voices around me engage in conversation?

Can I be satisfied in participation through listening, rather than speaking?

Can I be part of the melody, part of the crowd, blended in, so to speak, in my interactions with others without needing to be centre-stage?

Can I play the part of the descant, when called upon to do so, exhibiting my special skills in my areas of expertise, whilst recognising the support given by others?

Silent, listening, participating, descant – this is the range in which my voice should find a place within the world, be it speaking or singing.

My next blog will be: Winter Sun

William Defoe


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