My College Music Appreciation Project

Back in 1984, during my sophomore year at Hagerstown Junior College, I took a Music Appreciation class. For our final project, each student was to come up with their own unique idea for something to show to the class; the only stipulation was that it had to be musical in nature. One person baked a cake in the shape of a guitar. Another performed a solo on the clarinet. I decided to perform the famous French drinking song "Viva L'Amore" in the style of a barbershop quartet. However, mine would be unusual in that I planned to sing all four parts.

I had the music in four-part harmony, because a men's quartet I was in had recently sang it during the annual H.J.C. talent show. So I practiced and learned the other three parts (including the bass!), and then asked my church music minister Terry Ross to assist me with the taping.

Using the church sound system and audio equipment, I recorded myself singing the First Tenor part. Then, Terry played that back to me through headphones, while I sang and recorded the Second Tenor part (mixing this new part in with the original First Tenor recording). We repeated this two more times, adding the Baritone and Bass parts. It was a little tricky because I didn't use a metronome; therefore some of the timing is a little off. Also, since we didn't have a four track recorder, each re-recording had the side effect of some generation loss and adding some extra hiss; but all in all, the final tape was good enough to use for my final project. I got an "A" for the project, and many in the classroom still couldn't understand how that was me singing all four parts, even though I explained the method to the class :)

So here, without further ado, is an MP3 file that I made from the original tape. Feel free to give it a listen and sing along!!

Late breaking news!! I recently re-recorded this song in 2013 in my friend's home studio using his incredible high-end microphone and the latest in digital recording. It sounds SO much better now.