music vs singing : Common Errors in English

About music vs singing

After my wife—an accomplished soprano—reported indignantly that a friend of hers had stated that her church had “no music, only singing,” I began to notice the same tendency among my students to equate music strictly with instrumental music. I was told by one that “the singing interfered with the music” (i.e., the accompaniment). In the classical realm most listeners seem to prefer instrumental to vocal performances, which is odd given the distinct unpopularity of strictly instrumental popular music. People rejoice at the sound of choral works at Christmas but seldom seek them out at other times of the year. Serious music lovers rightly object to the linguistic sloppiness that denies the label “music” to works by such composers as Palestrina, Schubert, and Verdi. From the Middle Ages to the late eighteenth century, vocal music reigned supreme, and instrumentalists strove to achieve the prized compliment of “sounding like the human voice.” The dominance of orchestral works is a comparatively recent phenomenon. In contrast, my students often call instrumental works “songs,” being unfamiliar with the terms “composition” and “piece.” All singing is music, but not all music is singing.

music Meaning(s)

  • (n) an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
  • (n) any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sounds
  • (n) musical activity (singing or whistling etc.)
  • (n) (music) the sounds produced by singers or musical instruments (or reproductions of such sounds)
  • (n) punishment for one's actions

singing Meaning(s)

  • (v) deliver by singing
  • (v) produce tones with the voice
  • (v) to make melodious sounds
  • (v) make a whining, ringing, or whistling sound
  • (v) divulge confidential information or secrets
  • (n) a surface burn
  • (v) burn superficially or lightly
  • (v) become superficially burned
  • (n) the act of singing vocal music
  • (n) disclosing information or giving evidence about another
  • (s) smooth and flowing

music in News

  1. Broadcast Music Inc sues Pandora over license fees

    (Reuters) - Broadcast Music Inc (BMI), a songwriters' rights organization, is suing Pandora Media after the Internet radio company rejected a request to pay a higher license fee for playing songs across various devices, including mobile phones. In a lawsuit filed with the Manhattan federal court on Thursday, BMI said it had proposed an increase in Pandora's fees "consistent with market rates to ...
    on June 14, 2013 Source: Reuters via Yahoo! News

  2. ‘Music in the Mansions’ is Saturday

    Lovers of music and of Helena’s historic mansions can get a taste of both Saturday, as the Helena Symphony and some generous homeowners host “Music in the Mansions,” featuring food, wine, music and the striking interiors of two private residences.
    on June 14, 2013 Source: Helena Independent Record

  3. Music fans capture Orion Music + More festival on social media

    Music fans capture the Orion Music + More festival on social media.
    on June 14, 2013 Source: Detroit Free Press

singing in News

  1. Singing River Health System Regional Cancer Center earns national accreditation

    The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted three-year accreditation to the cancer program at Singing River Health System’s Regional Cancer Center. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Mississippi Press

  2. Kid Gets Hit With Racial Tweets After Singing National Anthem

    Singing the national anthem at Game 3 of the NBA Finals was an exciting opportunity for 11-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz. But after belting out the anthem, he found himself a target for many people on Twitter. FOX San Antonio reports one person tweeted, “9 out of 10 chance that kid singing the national anthem is illegal.” Others took issue with Cruz too, saying he is Mexican and shouldn’t be ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Oklahoman

  3. Singing fundraisers for new church every Saturday

    Gospel singing fundraisers for the Going Through With Jesus Faith Revival Center will take place every Saturday, beginning at 7 p.m. at the center, 300 W. Poplar St., Iva.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Anderson Independent-Mail

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