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Hitting the highnote

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 15, 2006

In Reply to: Hitting the highnote posted by Bob 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!