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Thread: What is the longest note you have heard?

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    mud
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    Default What is the longest note you have heard?

    I have seen parodies of long notes being sung artificially, but wonder if any were composed to be held as long as possible.

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    Senior Member ComposerOfAvantGarde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mud View Post
    I have seen parodies of long notes being sung artificially, but wonder if any were composed to be held as long as possible.
    The score indicates that the oboist has to hold the note for as long as possible (found near the end of the movement):


    Lasts for about 23 seconds in that recording

    As for longest note I have heard, I wouldn't be able to remember but I think I heard a piece possibly by La Monte Young with a huge drone held for ages.
    Last edited by ComposerOfAvantGarde; May-18-2012 at 09:25.
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    You know, this is actually convoluted to search for, because it is becomes a pissing match between all kinds of vocalists. The longest one I can recall is at the end of this song (about 9 seconds from the 3:01 mark), although I don't know if that is specified by the composer.

    Last edited by mud; May-18-2012 at 09:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    The score indicates that the oboist has to hold the note for as long as possible (found near the end of the movement)
    That was something, it kept getting louder too.

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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    The final part of Langgaard´s "Music of the Spheres" has a fortissimo chord for the choir lasting 1 1/2 minutes, the orchestra embellishing that chord somewhat though. The work also ends with tone-clusters.
    There are several recodings of the work, the John Frandsen is probably the most impressive, especially as regards the end section.

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    Interesting, maybe we should say by a soloist, or sustained (I would imagine the choir alternates between vocalists).
    Last edited by mud; May-18-2012 at 10:15.

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    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
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    One of my favourite parodies in this regard was the vocal duel in Farinelli (the movie). I really must make a plan to see that movie again.

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    The scene is online, it sounded authentic. I know that a recording could fake a really long note though, so you never know. That's why I'm curious if composers specify the length of vocal finales.
    Last edited by mud; May-18-2012 at 10:38.

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    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
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    Derek Lee Ragin (the countertenor whose voice was one of the two voices that was blended to make the voice of Farinelli) recently visited South Africa where I saw him in Purcell's The Fairy Queen.

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    How about the ending to The Beatles A Day In The Life from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band? Or would that be considered a chord, as opposed to a note
    Whatever floats your boat

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Here you are!


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    I was going to mention Montserrat, but it seems Couchie already did.

    Nevertheless, there are also a few other amazing ones I've heard. Perhaps not as long as Caballe there, but certainly close to it. Well, not written by the composer I think, but still.. super nice.

    The high B for 13 seconds long in Celeste Aida by Luciano Pavarotti (absolutely great!):



    The 13 seconds long legato high C + Bb (I believe) in Nessun Dorma (Three Tenors concert 1998) by Pavarotti:

    Last edited by AlainB; Jun-28-2012 at 21:52.
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    Removed due to an error.
    Last edited by Sequentia; Jul-01-2012 at 14:15.

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    Well once you enter into the world of electronic music fresh new realities can be realized. A re-occuring theme in Stockhausen's work is that of time. Time in motion studies .. Stimmung is an extremely colourful work, 75 minutes of a single 6 note chord sung by 6 vocalists, with various subtle harmonic fields applied to the notes. The epic opera .. Freitag aus LICHT, about the marriage of people & machines, and his reaction to the advent of computers .. it's breathtaking slow moving electronic music; like clouds that move in all directions. At it's core, it is made of 2 principle melodies; The Lucifer melody & the Eve Melody. Appropriate, as the opera itself focuses primarily on the temptation of Eve by Lucifer. These melodies which usually last a 1 minute in real time to perform are in this electronic work expanded-to ca.147 minutes and determine the whole harmonic/melodic system and framework of the entire composition. It's not yet possible for us to hear these melodies over such long, long time intervals, but you can catch snatches of them if you are already familiar with Licht's melodies/music & if you listen closely; for instance, you can hear particularly in the bass (the Lucifer melody) at the outset of the music. Additionally, due to this large expansion of individual notes of these melodies Stockhausen was able to like never before, get deep into the sound atoms themselves and develop the microtonal movements of the pitches in a plethora of fascinating ways. The timbres chosen are for clarity, to hear all this going on in the music.

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    Through information that survived, the castrati had, among others, the hability to sustain long phrases in one breath. "Qual guerriero in campo armato" by Broschi, for instance, has a phrase, if properly sung, the singer should do it in one breath and lasts quite a minute long.

    Also one of the most beautiful techniques, specially developed in baroque opera, was/is mezza di voce. For fine control of this techinque, one must be able to gain a considerable hability to sustain notes for a long time.
    appoggiatura and mud like this.

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