Filed Under:

Super Bass: Can You Hit This Note?

Play associated audio

Calling all basses: Decca Records is on the hunt for someone who can sing a low E, nearly three octaves below middle C. The note is featured in a new piece called De Profundis (Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord — Psalm) by the Welsh composer Paul Mealor.

I'm really attracted to the depths of the human spectrum," Mealor tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "We're seeking to find the person that can sing the lowest note ever written in choral music — and not just that note, but the solo in this piece for bass solo and choir. So we're looking for someone very special."

Mealor is working with Decca to find that someone — they'll be accepting submissions online through February 24. Mealor says that making someone sing a dauntingly low note was always part of his thought process for the piece.

"I've been constantly been trying to write lower and lower, and the bassists I write for seem very pleased about this," He says. "We all have friends in the singing world who will try to bedazzle you with how low they can sing at the party afterwards. So I thought, this is a chance to give the low basses a chance to shine."

The full version of this story includes a demonstration from Roger Menees, the record holder for the lowest note ever sung. To hear it, click the audio link at the top of the page.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Tampa Hosts Bollywood's Biggest Stars At Annual Awards Show

India's Bollywood film industry is increasingly reaching a world-wide audience. To highlight the international appeal, the industry holds its annual awards ceremony every year outside of India.
NPR

Got My Goat? Vermont Farms Put Fresh Meat On Refugee Tables

Americans don't eat much barbecued goat, but the meat is a mainstay in many African, Asian and Caribbean diets. In Vermont, farmers raise for refugees and immigrants, with hopes to mainstream it.
WAMU 88.5

On National Mall, Native Americans Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

Native Americans from across the country are visiting Washington this week to protest the construction of a controversial pipeline in the Midwest.
NPR

Life Outside The Fast Lane: Startups Wary Of Web Traffic Plan

The Federal Communications Commission's proposal would let Web companies pay for faster access. But entrepreneurs, like Reddit's co-founder, are wondering how they would have fared with such rules.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.