Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can either be sung a cappella (without accompaniment) or accompanied by musicians and instruments ranging from a single instrumentalist to a full symphony orchestra or big band. Singing is often done in a group of other musicians, such as in a choir of singers with different voice ranges, or in an ensemble with instrumentalists, such as a rock group or baroque ensemble. Nearly anyone who can speak can sing, since in many respects singing is a form of sustained speech.
- The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation,
And for the bass, the beast can only bellow;
In fact, he had no singing education,
An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow.
- Come, sing now, sing; for I know you sing well;
I see you have a singing face.
- John Fletcher, The Wild Goose Chase (c. 1621; published 1652), Act II. 2
- Three merry boys, and three merry boys,
And three merry boys are we,
As ever did sing in a hempen string
Under the gallow-tree.
- John Fletcher, Rollo Duke of Normandy, or The Bloody Brother, (c. 1617; revised c. 1627–30; 1639), Act III, scene 2. Song
- A singer ... is no more than an actor set to music.
- Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud, sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 712-13.
- Ce qui ne vaut pas la peine d'être dit, on le chante.
- That which is not worth speaking they sing.
- Pierre de Beaumarchais, Barbier de Séville, I. 1
- Quien canta, sus males espanta.
- At every close she made, th' attending throng
Replied, and bore the burden of the song:
So just, so small, yet in so sweet a note,
It seemed the music melted in the throat.
- John Dryden, Flower and the Leaf, line 197
- Y'ought to hyeah dat gal a-warblin'
Robins, la'ks an' all dem things
Heish de mouffs an' hides dey faces
When Malindy sings.
- Paul Laurence Dunbar, When Malindy Sings
- Olympian bards who sung
Divine ideas below,
Which always find us young
And always keep us so.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ode to Beauty
- I see you have a singing face — a heavy, dull, sonata face.
- George Farquhar, The Inconstant, Act II. 1
- When I but hear her sing, I fare
Like one that raised, holds his ear
To some bright star in the supremest Round;
Through which, besides the light that's seen
There may be heard, from Heaven within,
The rests of Anthems, that the Angels sound.
- Owen Feltham, Lusoria, XXXIV. Appeared as a poem of Suckling's beginning "When dearest I but think of thee." Claimed by Feltham in note to ed. 1690, 1696 of his Resolves, Divine, Moral, Biblical
- Then they began to sing
That extremely lovely thing,
"Scherzando! ma non troppo, ppp."
- W. S. Gilbert, Bab Ballads, Story of Prince Agib
- So she poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse, The Birthmark
- He the sweetest of all singers.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha (1855), Part VI, line 21
- Sang in tones of deep emotion,
Songs of love and songs of longing.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha (1855), Part XI, line 136
- God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Singers
- Ils chantent, ils payeront.
- They sing, they will pay.
- Cardinal Mazarin. Originally "S'ils cantent la cansonette ils pageront." A patois
- Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul
And lap it in Elysium.
- Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as, warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek.
- John Milton, Il Penseroso (1631), line 105
- O Carril, raise again thy voice! let me hear the song of Selma, which was sung in my halls of joy, when Fingal, king of shields, was there, and glowed at the deeds of his fathers.
- Ossian, Fingal, Book III, Stanza 1
- Sweetest the strain when in the song
The singer has been lost.
- Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, The Poet and the Poem.
- But would you sing, and rival Orpheus' strain.
The wond'ring forests soon should dance again;
The moving mountains hear the powerful call,
And headlong streams hang listening in their fall!
- Alexander Pope, Summer, line 81
- You know you haven't got a singing face.
- William Barnes Rhodes, Bombastes Furioso
- Every night he comes
With musics of all sorts and songs compos'd
To her unworthiness: it nothing steads us
To chide him from our eaves; for he persists
As if his life lay on't.
- Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung
With feigning voice verses of feigning love.
- O! she will sing the savageness out of a bear.
- His tongue is now a stringless instrument.
- Nay, now you are too flat
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant.
- But one puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes.
- Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, To Jane, The Keen Stars were Twinkling