Would you rather (A) hear a soulless but flawlessly in-tune singer, or (B) hear an occasionally pitchy singer who moves you with passion?
I know, we don’t have to choose. There are plenty of fabulous singers who do both. (Hint: don’t listen to top-40).
But we do choose.
We choose in rehearsal when we spend daily time on intonation, tone, technique, but wait until the week of the concert to talk about text.
We choose in pop music when we auto-tune the individuality out of singers, and shrug at lip-syncing in “live” concerts.
We build the muscles that we exercise, and as a culture we are overwhelmingly exercising one set, technique, and neglecting another, passion.
Balance is the goal–equally attending to all the aspects of effective singing–but at this point we may need to swing pretty far the other way to get to evenness.
Are we prioritizing the wrong thing?