Posted by Bob on October 16, 2006
In Reply to: Hitting the highnote posted by Smokey Stover on October 15, 2006
: : : : whtat does "hitting the highnote" mean?i could see this phrse in the news paper
: : : Headline: "Baseball: 'Comeback kids' end career on high note" Used in that manner, "high note" end with a positive, up beat. Go out as a winner.
: : : Hit a high note probably means the same thing. Anyone have any other ideas on the phrase?
: : It's from singing most likely. It is a physical challenge to reach ("hit") the highest note in your range, and composers will save the emotional peak of a song or aria for that note.
: Yes and yes, both are right. The thing about hitting the high note, that is, in a musical performance, is that you MUST do it for real. In one memorable broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera, Lily Pons had asked the orchestra to play her final aria a note higher than written, to show off her high C. Alas, Lily Pons and her voice had both grown older, and she hit B-flat instead. It wasn't just a wrong note, it was a note that made the chord into a dominant-seventh, a very tendentious chord that transposed the key and left us hanging on a half-cadence. Talk about embarrassment!
Yep. And the clasic problem for tenors is singing the role of Radames in Aida, because you have to go out and sing the notoriously difficult "Celeste Aida" at the very start of the opera, without any warmup. Many a tenor has gone down in flames....