Stacy Horn is the author of four nonfiction books. Bestselling author Mary Roach has hailed her for “combining awe-fueled curiosity with topflight reporting skills.” Her commentaries have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, and she is the founder of the social network Echo. She lives and sings in New York. Her website is www.stacyhorn.com.
Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Othersby Stacy Horn
For Stacy Horn, regardless of what is going on in the world or her life, singing in an amateur choir—the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York—never fails to take her to a place where hope reigns and everything good is possible. She’s not particularly religious, and her voice is not exceptional (so she says), but like the 32.5 million other… See more details below
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
For Stacy Horn, regardless of what is going on in the world or her life, singing in an amateur choir—the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York—never fails to take her to a place where hope reigns and everything good is possible. She’s not particularly religious, and her voice is not exceptional (so she says), but like the 32.5 million other chorus members throughout this country, singing makes her happy. Horn brings us along as she sings some of the greatest music humanity has ever produced, delves into the dramatic stories of conductors and composers, unearths the fascinating history of group singing, and explores remarkable discoveries from the new science of singing, including all the unexpected health benefits. Imperfect Harmony is the story of one woman who has found joy and strength in the weekly ritual of singing and in the irresistible power of song.
- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 789 KB
Meet the Author
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Horn's experiences in the Choral Society of Grace Church are vividly brought to life in her book. I often felt that I was right there in the room, in the choir, having the very same experiences. She seamlessly and naturally interlaces music history with her stories. Before I knew it, I realized I'd just read pages of - gasp! - music history, and didn't find one bit of it dry. I couldn't stop turning the pages. I wish my own college music history texts had been as captivating. Horn also does a wonderful job describing more advanced musical concepts in layman's terms, which helps to keep the book accessible to all music lovers. She cites studies that give insight into why singing feels so good and how it affects us emotionally and physiologically. Even with the inclusion of history, a bit of music theory, and science, the flow of her words is never once broken. The reading never felt bogged down. I cried while reading stories about how song came forth, often spontaneously, out of moments of deep grief to help carry people through. I laughed while reading some of the interactions between choir members, especially the "where to sit" and "someone's in my chair" antics. During that chapter I texted my best friend, a soprano in our local choral society, to ask her if they have assigned seats. She replied with, "No, but no one better ever sit in my chair!" which gave me a nice laugh. I highlighted on my Nook like mad, taking special note of the many thought-provoking quotes by famous composers, conductors, and music educators; gems of knowledge and experience that I'm sure I'll pass on to my own music students. Professionally, I'm an instrumentalist, not a singer. It was interesting to read Imperfect Harmony from my perspective of a professional in classical music, yet also as a (very) amateur singer. This book inspired me to listen more often, too. More often than I care to admit, I find myself listening to music out of necessity: I'll soon be performing the piece and need to study the score, or I have a student is learning a piece and I need to get to know it again. Horn's honest and heartfelt appreciation of each piece highlighted in the book compelled me to find recordings of each, put them in one playlist, and simply take in the music. We professionals forget to do that at times. I have a few friends who will be receiving this book as a gift when it is released. If you love to sing with others...actually, disregard "to sing." If you love making music with others, you will love Imperfect Harmony.
I don't think you have to be a musician to enjoy this book; however, if you have ever been in a choir, I'm sure you will love it. I guarantee you will identify with at least one (and probably more) of the tales about your fellow singers, conductor(s), and the emotions and memories brought about by the music selected to hightlight each chapter. In addition to the often amusing and heartfelt stories, you will learn more about your favorite compositions and composers, and maybe even discover some you've never heard of before.
Stacy's book is a must read for singers. It gives you an easy to read look at the science behind why you love singing in a choral group, and gives you some interesting history of choral society singing.