The Klingon Fifth

I sing with a group called Collegium Cantorum, a small, eclectic group of singers led by a man with a Tolkien-esque beard and a remarkable passion for Renaissance polyphonie (i.e., sacred music from 12th through 15th centuries).  The music is beautiful and, like yoga, deceptively difficult — it requires enormous concentration and control to do well. 

But in addition to the music, the people are a hoot.  Here’s a typical exchange during rehearsal:

[Timothy, the director, stops the chorus after a particularly rough passage.  He points out an interval that the tenors missed.]

Charlie (a tenor):  Oh, that’s the Klingon fifth!

Timothy:  That’s right.  As some composer said, “If it worked once, why not use it again?”

Mike (a bass):  Hey, it worked for Thomas Hardy.

Tonya (an alto):  And Dickens, too!

How many groups of people do you know of who can go from a 15th century Latin mass to Charles Dickens, passing through Star Trek, in five moves?


  1. I am so excited to meet these people.


  2. I'm laughing out loud! (I'm also reading out loud and I don't think Ammon gets it at all… which, of course makes me laugh harder)


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