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/.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

For Greece's Farmers, Growing Pressure To Be More Competitive

Greece grows plenty of good agricultural products, but has trouble competing internationally. Many in Greece say it's time for the farm sector to modernize.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

Leave a Comment

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