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Anorak | The Voice is cursed by Whitney Houston’s melisma

The Voice is cursed by Whitney Houston’s melisma

by | 18th, May 2012

IT was of course your ever-reliable Madame Arcati who first foresaw the tragi-comedy that BBC1’s  The Voice  is turning into a vast £22 million wail of a show whose patron saint of vocal gymnastics is the late Whitney Houston. While most of you out there were swaying your arms to some pro-am screamed-out golden oldie, like tone-deaf seaweed in an old Jacques Cousteau TV doc, I was filing nails on two fingers.

Up to now I had no idea that there was a word for this endless, mindless, godawful screeching. Now, thanks to the legend that is Mary Hopkin, I have learnt it. Welcome to the world of melisma.
Mary my new friend on Twitter introduces us music illiterates to melisma on her splendid website at  http://www.maryhopkin.com/ . She defines the word as: ‘Noun: several notes sung to one syllable.’ Mary adds her take: ‘The current definition seems to be: as many hemidemisemiquavers as humanly possible crammed into a single syllable.’ She says that female

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Posted: 18th, May 2012 | In: TV & Radio Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink

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