imperfect harmony Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others
by Stacy Horn
(2013 nonfiction)

Whether you have been or are part of a chorus, choir, or group singalong, have played a musical instrument  with a group, or just enjoy listening to performances of classical music, this is a book waiting for your discovery. Stacy Horn writes of her 30 years singing with the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York City and the complete joy – and at times healing – that accompanies being a part of an amateur singing group with its soaring fortissimo exuberance and pianissimo dulce conclusions. Interspersed in her autobiography are lengthy sidebars of biographical backgrounds of composers, the evolution of tones and rhythms over centuries from a few chanting monks to large choirs, and even the neurological science behind how music affects the brain, not only of the performer but the listener as well. Horn, by her own admission, is not a gifted singer, but she writes with wit, enthusiasm, and candor about the joy that comes from being a part of something larger than self, of being in harmony with fellow singers, history, and the music of all ages. Available in the Castro Valley Library. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Carol Lyke


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