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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:39 pm 
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There are still male opera singers today who sing in the female (contralto and soprano) range. They're called countertenors. It is an amazing sound, very rich and pwerful, but I don't know how it compares to the castrati sound.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
There are still male opera singers today who sing in the female (contralto and soprano) range. They're called countertenors. It is an amazing sound, very rich and pwerful, but I don't know how it compares to the castrati sound.


Jude's the guy who could tell us. I shall ask him. I have heard countertenors sing and I gotta say, once was enough. I like men singing high, but only the Beach Boys or The Righteous Brothers. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Here's a link to one of the most beautiful and famous Handel arias written in that range, for one of the castrati, sung by a German countertenor named Andreas Scholl. The advantage of a countertenor is that they can get those low notes with more richness than any woman can:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsbYGdCQsgk

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:51 pm 
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There are several recordings on Youtube of Alessandro Moreschi, (b.1858) the last Castrato...

Here is one example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv-S3uoeTXg

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:15 pm 
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I am not a fan of countertenors. :suspicious:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:31 pm 
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I love 'em! Guess I'm used to them in the Anglican church music tradition. I also sang alongside one (an ex-cathedral lay vicar) in a chamber choir years ago. The Early Music repertoire of the 16-17th Century was written for the male alto voice.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
I am not a fan of countertenors. :suspicious:


Agreed. I like the Beach Boys/Righteous Brothers (as Vison said) stuff, but other than that I like my men to sound like....well...men ;)

And the whole virgin boy singing is nice until their voice changes, but the castration that used to happen is just wrong.

Now a good male tenor, oh yes indeedy do. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:03 pm 
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I'm rather fond of the regular male tenor, having married one. :D

And I do think a boy's voice or a boy's choir is heavenly sounding.

But countertenors and castrati--they bug me, I guess because they seem so contrary to the natural way of things.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Padme wrote
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...I like my men to sound like....well...men



The countertenor I used to sing with used to confuse me at first because he'd sing the alto line of the anthems, but when we were singing hymns in general he'd switch to singing in a rich baritone!!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:49 pm 
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vison wrote:
Why the frown, yovargas? JewelSong speaks sooth.


Well, yes, but for most men, the thought of voluntarily castrating oneself (or castration in general) is an uncomfortable topic. Doing it just to keep your voice from changing seems an...odd motive, whether you're familiar with the history or not.

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It is part and parcel, IMHO, of the male-centric institution that viewed women as lesser creatures than men. The reaction of the RCC to the abuse scandals is a logical result of what I see as inhuman and inhumane ideas about sex in general.

However, I doubt that the pope is going to care what I think.


Probably no more so than you care what he thinks ;).

I find Catholic teachings about sex to be very healthy and helpful, connected as they are to the experience of being human. Your mileage may vary.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:27 pm 
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Boy did this thread go sideways!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:57 pm 
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vison, the fact is that there is NO difference between an unchanged boy's voice and an unchanged girl's voice...at least until they are are the cusp of puberty. (Yes, girl's voices change, too - just not as dramatically as boys do.) Boys were used because....well, girl's weren't supposed to be singing in church, or anywhere. Same as how they had men play the women's parts.

There is a marked difference between the sound of an unchanged soprano voice and a mature woman. The unchanged voice will have very little vibrato and thus, less over-tones - hence, a "purerr" sound. It all depends on the piece of music being performed. And your personal tastes.

I don't much care for the sound of a counter-tenor either, but again, some pieces were specifically written for that style of voice and singing.

But, as I said before (and to kind of get this thread back on topic) the RCC tacitly condoned the practice of creating castrati for centuries. It really was only after that style of singing became less popular that the RCC enforced its own rules on that subject. They allowed hundreds of young boys to be castrated in order to keep people in the pews. In other words, the good of the institution took precedence over the good of the individual child.

Which sounds awfully familiar.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:49 pm 
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[completely OT]Jewel, I have to confess something. Ever since we started reading Christy, I have been picturing you as Miss Alice. I think it's the Quaker thing. :oops: [/OT]

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:16 am 
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vison wrote:
MithLuin wrote:
Sexual violence is more akin to murder than to sexual intercourse.


I agree, in part. Which is why I don't think it is "sexual behavior" as such.

But there is something other than "only" violence involved. There is a specific mindset or some motive that makes a person use a sexual assault instead of a knife or gun or the fists. That is where the problem lies, and I don't think anyone has got to the source of it.

There are people who desire to have sex with children. We see it as evil, as assault, as everything vile, but to them it is the norm, or their norm at least. The acts they commit are horrible, but can we categorize them as sheer violence, as crimes of power?

Women can, and do, commit sexual abuse crimes. But because people tend to think of "rape" as a male crime, that is often forgot.

Still, I think the cover-up of these crimes had little to do with "Sex" as such but almost entirely to do with protecting the institution. The RCC is not alone in jumping to CYA mode as soon as a problem crops up - it is how large corporations and institutions all act.


I think that analyses like these can overcomplicate the issue.

I read a great deal about criminal motivation when I wrote my honours thesis on sentencing. I’ve had a fair bit of contact with people who’ve been involved in corrective services. And I also have a decent amount of personal experience of this issue, and I have known two men who were imprisoned for sexual conduct with minors.

And I safely say that almost every act of rape or sexual abuse occurs because the perpetrator wanted to have sex with the victim and was indifferent to whether or not they consented. That is at the heart of the issue, regardless of whether the victim is a man, woman or child. There are complications, of course. For example, some men just enjoy violent and/or non-consensual sex more. But a Catholic Priest who indecently handles a child or forces them into a sexual act is doing it for their sexual gratification, for exactly the same reason that a ‘normal’ man flirts with, pets or has sex with an adult woman.

Rape or sexual abuse is rarely about power, and only then in special circumstances. That is the view of the bulk of the research on the subject. It is usually simply about people, typically men, getting off. Is there a connection between sexual abuse and celibacy? Possibly; repressed people tend to ‘broaden their horizons’ so to speak, as Kinsey demonstrated when he found in his famous survey that up to 50% of men who grew up in remote, conservative rural areas reported having at least one sexual experience with a farm animal. More likely, though, it is simply because men who are sexually attracted exclusively to children can only seek gratification through acts of abuse, as children do not enjoy or seek or willingly consent to sex. And they may be attracted to the priesthood, as we’ve already discussed upthread.

If these Priests were simply connecting sex with power and control, then the problem would be priests practicing BDSM, not priests abusing children. And there are all sorts of paraphillias sorrounding domination and humiliation and sadism and the like. But yeah, in the end, it’s sex.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:13 am 
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Briefly continuing the off topic osgiliation, I love counter tenors (erm, not like that). I've met Andreas Scholl and had a CD signed by him. There is something ethereal about the sound.

Now back to the grimmer stuff.....

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:31 pm 
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L_M

I agree with you on the subject, it's why pedofiles can't be rehabilitated 99% of the time. They are wired in their brains to like sex with kids, the don't want to have sex with adults, it doesn't do anything for them.

It's what trips that wiring in the brain to be off is what needs to be figured out.

So yes, IMHO, these pedofiles need to be locked up or put on an island by themselves away from children, forever. Not moved to a different church and certainly not covered up by the church(s) to save their own reputations.



spelling errors, if they are still there...my bad.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Lord_Morningstar wrote:
And I safely say that almost every act of rape or sexual abuse occurs because the perpetrator wanted to have sex with the victim and was indifferent to whether or not they consented. That is at the heart of the issue, regardless of whether the victim is a man, woman or child. There are complications, of course. ... But yeah, in the end, it’s sex.


In the end, it's lust. If you are indifferent to the other person, that's not at all like sexual intercourse, where it is all about two people being intimate, etc. Yes, presumably the rapist enjoys the sex, gets off on it, etc. But it's still a world away from what a married couple enjoys, where the consent was pretty public and mutual!

The reason power enters into it, is because power misleads people into thinking they can take what they want from others, that they can use them and get away with it, etc.

That's why I said rape was more like murder - it's taking something from someone because you want to, without any regard to whether or not that's good for them. There's a complete failure to recognize a fellow human being as a person, with dignity.


*glances at thread title*

A seminarian's comment on the abuse crisis


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:21 pm 
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MithLuin wrote:
In the end, it's lust. If you are indifferent to the other person, that's not at all like sexual intercourse, where it is all about two people being intimate, etc.


Quite a lot of people have had sex with partners they've been indifferent to, and I imagine a number of rapists have had strong feelings of some sort or another for their victims.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:33 pm 
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I also feel compelled to mention that between rape and happy marriage there is a wide spectrum of human experience involving sexual intercourse.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Oh...should I have said conjugal act? Marital embrace? Making love? I was trying to get at something beyond 'having sex.'


I usually think the Beren and Lúthien story is a great illustration of the difference between love and lust, or how honest care for another person can compete with jealousy and possessiveness.

Lúthien is beautiful and wonderful and people have to respond to her in some way - almost no one just ignores her. Her father is a bit possessive, Daeron is a jealous/disappointed lover, not content to just play his flute for her while she dances. Beren will do anything to be with her, Huan will save her even if it means betraying his master. Celegorm's interest in her seems to be strictly lust, but he could be said to be honestly smitten and just go about showing in it in a typically arrogant way (bride-kidnap does seem to fit the Feanorean's worldview...). And then there's Morgoth, whose interest is clearly portrayed as lust, but the outcome will be a dead/destroyed Lúthien, so he's...a bit more depraved. And Mandos is moved by pity for her to seek a mortal fate on her behalf.

So, yes, a range. I wasn't trying to imply that it was one or the other.


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