Essay on A Reflection On Seminar 2016
This response primarily rests on my view of music and how Dr. Ysaye’s presentation, Symposium 2016: “Our Songs Know Who We Are”, enlarged my experience of the sense of unity I receive in polyphonic music. A large part of my reflection involves my involvement with music in the Unitarian Church and back in Lesotho. First, I will introduce the readers to Alex Pollard, a choir member with cerebral palsy.  Second, I will present a Basotho women’s choir during a harvest season.  Third, I will share my adventures in a local choir. Finally, I will cast a reflection about these settings in relation to my perceived notion of polyphony.
Contrary to my belief that singing in a choir emulates harmony, Alex Pollard’s story of exclusion from a performance due to lack of accommodations for his wheelchair sends discord. If Alex could be treated in this manner by his own group, what would we say is the function of music in this choir? Alex’s mother is not the only one asking this question. Juxtaposing this picture isolated from his choir, with that of the singing I experienced in Lesotho and in our local Unitarian Church, invites questions about why we sing.
Clearly, Alex’s choir is not in an African village. However, I believe it is fair to expect the spirit of unanimity in both events. In a village in Lesotho, Basotho women singing during a planting or harvest season sing from wherever they are and are brought together by harmony in polyphony.…