Psalm 49, verses 12-13


This is the way of them - this is their foolishness

1.    Boys' choir, or boys' section of an all-male choir.

2.    Boys' choir, or boys' section of an all-male choir, with one girl who is very musical, has an attractive voice, and is sister to one of the boys.  Choir-sound unchanged.

3.    As above, but now with three or four girls.  Sound still unchanged.

4.    Equal numbers, boys to girls.  Sound just above predominantly ' boy', but weaker in volume.

5.    As above, but now separated, decani and cantoris, as a gesture to answer the worries of traditionalists.  Sides singing together: sound as in (4).  Sides singing separately: marked contrast in volume and character.

6.    Sides re-mixed, as a result of different characteristic timbres proving unfortunate.

7.    New director begins to encourage 'adjustment' of vocal characteristics of boys and girls to find 'median' for equal blend.

8.    Increasing shortage of boy candidates begins to become obvious.

9.    Shortage of boys acute.  Girls now staying on, post-puberty, resulting in more volume from them.  Boys now perceived to be notably smaller, on average than girls.

10.    Fewer still boy candidates.  Choir now noticeably a girls' choir but which includes some small boys.  Solos mostly sung by girls.

11.    As above, but all solos now sung by older girls.

12.    The choir has become a girls' choir which includes a token small boy who cannot be heard, whose (secret!) tone is borrowed from that of the girls, the effect of the all-girl environment, and who will leave the moment he realises his position in the eyes of his peer-group outside the choir.

13.    The cycle is complete.  No boys.  The original boys' choir is now a girls' choir.

AMEN, unless we persevere.


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