Spontaneous Group Chanting
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    My brother has a funny post about how it is that people at a basketball game can spontaneously chant the words "Air Ball" on Sol Mi at 72 bpm. "How is this possible without printed music and a conductor?" he asks.

    He says: "Keeping that in mind, there is a natural order of learning pitches that occurs in human beings at a young age. Small children gravitate naturally to the descending minor third, later adding an ascending perfect fourth, followed by a descending perfect fifth, and eventually adding a major second. If we apply a system to this order of pitches we get this: sol, mi, la, do, re, often called the 5-tone or pentatonic scale. Children do this naturally in play without the slightest knowledge of the musical implications. They just simply play and sing."

    He continues: "What does surprise me, and I can't really explain, is how and why all sing the correct pitches in the same rhythm. The only explanation is that humans have a collective desire to rally together doing the same thing in the same way for the same result--irritating the opponent. But, nevertheless, it is a phenomenon and a stunning example of unification without leadership."
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    This is the famous "universal chant." Also know as "na, na-ni,na, na." Kodaly and others took advantage of it as well. Maybe we should use it for psalm tones (only if we spaced it out correctly, of course).
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    More germane to other discussions, how can they possibly sing it without a female song leader bellowing into a microphone waving her hands about?
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    La-Do perfect fifth????