Monday, November 14, 2011

Pioneer Music

I went to a "Daughters of the Utah Pioneers" meeting today, and listened to a lesson about the music of the pioneers. The teacher brought a very old clarinet with her that is probably over 100 years old. She said it belonged to someone in her husband's family. The owner of the clarinet actually lost one of his fingers in a mining accident. So he took an old reed, and wrapped it with some cotton, and covered it with a piece of an old sock. He sewed it carefully on, and then attached that to his finger stump so that he could continue to play the clarinet. She passed it around for everyone to look at. On one side of the "fake finger" was a worn spot where it wore from playing the clarinet. It was interesting to hold it and imagine how it worked to help him play.

I've always heard that the Welsh are known for their singing. Many of these early pioneers were of Welsh descent, and carried that love of singing with them across the plains. One man who was single, met up with two young ladies with beautiful singing voices. They decided to pull a handcart together across the plains. They sang most of the way as they walked across the plains to Utah. Many of the pioneers would camp for the night, and pull out violins and other instruments so they could sing and dance around the campfire.

I come from a very musical family myself. My father has a beautiful singing voice. My brother also does, and is a choir director by profession. All of us sing, and many of us play different instruments. My own children refuse to sing in a choir, but they can all carry a tune nicely. They also refused to allow me to teach them to play the piano, but they did learn other instruments. I guess that Welsh heritage lives on, even these many generations later!


Rummuser said...

My mother was a talented singer and had sung on All India Radio and the Mauritian Radio. My sister learnt to sing for a while but gave it up as a lost cause. We three brothers grew up singing film songs and Barath, the youngest actually learnt how to play the guitar and sang professionally in the UK in his youth. All of us croak now when attempting to sing. I hope that Barath does not read this.

Nene said...

All my girls sang a lot, were in choirs, sang in groups, etc. I used to accompany them a lot. I wish I had made my family sing TOGETHER. I keep wanting to get a family band started up. :0) I swear we're going to do it for a church talent show sometime. :0D

Grannymar said...

Singing is a talent I would love to have. So much easier to carry compared to a double base! The singing part of my voice is totally gone, you might hear the odd croak but mostly no sound comes out of my mouth, so I have become a great mine artist when required to join in public singing.