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Connor Mahoney

November 29, 2016

Aesthetics

The Aesthetic of the Tenors

The Tenors, formerly known as the Canadian Tenors, is a classical pop group who sing

and harmonize with one another. Early on as the formalized, their singing was more the standard

pop. As the group matured they began to create songs in multiple languages. In doing so the

finds themselves now performing around the world to impact people with their music.

The group started in 2008 as the Canadian Tenors, comprising the voices of Clifton

Murray, Fraser Walters, Victor Micallef, and Remigio Pereira. ( in later years Pereira would be

suspended from the group for…….) in 2016 Murray joined the group in 2009 replacing old

Jamie McKnight as Knight was…… Faithful fans find their music aesthetic unique and pleasing

to the ear. So much so they music industry has claimed the Tenors music as extraordinary.

Philosophers such as Leo Tolstoy, R. G. Collingwood, and Gordon Graham have weighed in

with their own personal opinions on The Tenors style of aesthetic has taken the genre of classical

music to new heights

Tolstoy would call their music aesthetic from the emotion that they convey with the

audience and of how they tie the audience into the music. The instruments for certain songs that

The Tenors sing are picked to convey a specific emotion. In the song My Father’s Son, there are

drums and horns to make it strong and proud of the fact that they are their father’s son, but add

the flue and don’t make the trumpet too loud so they still have a soothing and calm feel through
the song. They also choose instruments the directed toward the audience that the song they want

to affect it will impact. For an example, Manana has the maracas and the acoustic guitar to keep

a latino feel to the song and is also appropriate because the song is in spanish. By creating the

moods through the instruments, the audience can get absorb in the atmosphere in order to pay

attention to the harmonies and the lyrics as opposed to being distracted trying to figure out the

meaning of the song and why they chose the instruments.

Tolstoy would also call their music aesthetic because of the relationship they form with

the audience. Most of their songs are meant for the audience to feel seduced or enticed in a way

because of how it feels like they are singing to that specific person. It draws and connects to the

audience so much that it feels like they are serenading you as a person. If the song that they are

singing is more angelic and relaxing, then they will harmonize and make the song more

beautiful, but as appose to having everyone singing the same notes in a more serious song, The

Tenors will have just one person sing and focus on that particular voice. The only times that

everyone sings in unison during a serious song is harmonize and hold the note for a certain

period of time so that the message to emphasize the word or message they are making with that

lyric. “In one the individuality of the feeling transmitted may predominate; in another, clearness

of expression; in a third, sincerity; and so forth, in all possible degrees and combinations”

(Tolstoy 127). Tolstoy would say that they three hit on their own individualities of how they all

hit on each of those four parts on their own, but then especially because when they collaborate as

a group and hit on each point all together.

The reason why The Tenors are more aesthetic than normal classical groups is because

they are a trio. The moving aspect of music is how the range of a voice mix with lyrics of a song

and what the words are actually saying. So when three voices come together that have three
different vocal ranges, the sound that blends together is the most angelic noise. Now, when

added specific instruments into the blend also makes the sound beautiful, but the fact that there is

three voices as opposed to another amazing artist in the same genre, such as like Josh Groban, it

is uncomparable. There are other groups, such as the Italian tenors, that can be more comparable,

but the Tenors stand out because of how they sing in multiple languages. For example, the Italian

tenor harmonize and connect with the audience, but only in Italian. So if a person doesn’t speak

Italian, then they can’t engage with the Italian tenors as much as an Italian spoken person.

People all around the world can enjoy the Tenors because they sing in multiple languages

and depending on where in the world they are performing, they realize the language and use that

to their advantage to connect with the audience. They talk about stories of them in Canada and

how they met one another and got together to build the relationship with the audience. The more

people know about one another, the more connected they feel with that person. It’s smart for a

performer to connect with the audience like this because of how important the connection with

the audience is. The Tenors sharing memories and stories of themselves when they were younger

and how they got together shows a vulnerability that allows the audience to come into the

performance and be more of a presence during the performance. Graham would agree with that

the Tenors making that connection with the audience is important and sets the apart from other

classical pop groups.

Graham would consider the musical group The Tenors music aesthetically pleasing

because of the connection they make with the audience. In a response to Tolstoy, Graham says

“In these few words, Tolstoy captures a picture of artistic activity that is very widely shared:

artists are people inspired by an experience of deep emotion, and they use their skill with words,

or paint, or music, or marble, or movement, to embody that emotion in a work of art” (Graham,
31). Because the Tenors allow the audience in by sharing their stories in between songs allows

the audience to have that emotion grow deeper and be more impactful. Graham is saying of how

because of people’s connection, they connect on a deeper and deeper level and understand

people more as artist because of the deeper emotional connection that they have with one

another. That is why it is smart for the Tenors to tell their audience their stories of their past to

fill them in more of who they are, so the audience does have that opportunity of connect with the

group on a more emotional level. Graham also says in response to Tolstoy, “It might be replied

that art has to have impact, and an artwork that aims at a portrayal of any of these emotions, even

those of a violent or evil nature, has to count as a failure if it leaves an audience as

uncomprehending as before. In fact, this reply signals another important move away from the

naive expressivism Tolstoy describes” (Graham, 35). What Graham says here is that if the

audience can’t understand the emotion behind the artwork, the artist doesn’t do their job to help

them understand the artwork. The Tenors deepen the audience’s understanding of the songs they

either sang or are about to sing which helps the audience understand and appreciate their music

even more than they do. The fact that the Tenors are classical pop group helps with audience

with appreciating the artwork the way the Tenors aim for the work to be perceived.

The fact that the Tenors are a classical pop group is also why they are aesthetically

pleasing to listen to. The voices tie the audience in more to keep the audience engaged with

them. A concert I went to at Jordan hall was a classical concert. The music was soothing and

pleasing to the ear because of the blend of the instruments, but because it was specifically

instruments didn’t tie me into the performance as much as a Tenor’s performance does. The

concert was missing the vocal communication and was relying on the music to speak and have

the vocal communication itself which didn’t resonate much with me in the performance. I was
able to appreciate the music and the flow of the performances, but wasn’t able to get the meaning

of the performance. Because there are words there, makes more of an impact on me as the

audience member and connects with me more on a deeper level.

Because the Tenors are a classical group also connects with the audience, as opposed to

just a pop singer like Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen blends his voice with the instruments and

the voices of his band members, but it’s more loud and thrilling than just relaxing and mellow.

That’s what his music is suppose to do though. As a rock performer, Bruce is suppose to go into

every concert with the idea of getting people on their feet and rock out while he performs with

the band. Even when Bruce plays a song that’s more serious and peaceful, he still doesn’t give

the mellow vibe that the Tenors do because of the instruments he uses with his rock and roll style

band. That is what the Tenors can bring that relaxing and mellow feel to their concerts. They are

able to be upbeat and get the crowd on their feet, yet also be soothing and pleasing to listen to.

They are able to make people cry just from the notes that they harmonize to. The fact there is no

‘lead singer’ and it is just three, or four, guys singing along to the sounds of the instruments,

focuses in more on what they are singing as opposed to having an atmosphere when one needs to

be screaming and rocking along with the performer. Because the Tenors don’t have the rock

band feel for it, Collingwood would be a big fan of the Tenors.

Collingwood would believe that music in general is considered aesthetically pleasing

because he would consider music art. Collingwood would call music art because of how the artist

would have to bring the notes and lyrics from their imagination so that the message is

communicated to the audience. Especially when the artist adds all the different instruments and

vocals. “The process of creating art is; for him, a process of self-discovery, indeed, of an artist

discovering just what his or her emotions are” (Collingwood, 111). Again, the Tenors telling the
audience their own stories and personal information about themselves as people shows of how

the songs they are singing about shows their own specific process to their self discovery and how

the song connects with who they are. The audience is able to appreciate the artist more when

they are able to see the process of the artist. “Collingwood distinguishes what he sees as art

proper, which for him, is artistic endeavors without the aspect of self discovery” (Collingwood,

111). Collingwood would consider the Tenors aesthetically pleasing because of the stories that

they tell the audience to connect with the audience.

Even though the Tenor is their own group of guys who sing together, they also get their

name out by performing and collaborating with other artist. The tenors have joined up with other

classical pop singers, such as Celine Dion and other artist, in order to add more of a variety of

notes that their vocal ranges either can’t hit or doesn’t sound a beautiful as when those other

artist sing. In order to get the message of the song out to the audience in the best way possible,

they will group together with a singer who can hit those notes and will do the performance with

that specific artist. That is why musicians in general collaborate together on pieces they want to

work on so that when they perform the song or piece for the audience, they are proud of the

music they just shared. No artist wants to ever look at a piece the made and be embarrassed of

the out come it had on its intended audience. So that is why the collaborate and ask other artist to

join them in a performance.

The audience is very important in each song or piece of art that an artist makes. Every

piece of art that an artist, whether they are an up and coming artist or have been an artist for

centuries, has at least one person targeted for when creating the artwork. Most artist will say that

they created the piece for themselves because it’s meaningful to them. Even if that is the case,

they are still someone and still want to think of their piece in a specific way that moves them.
Once an artist has a fan base though, they create pieces for that fan base and the hope of

attracting more and more people to become a fan of theirs. That is what the Tenors do by

collaborating with other artist, telling the audience their own personal stories, and singing and

performing as deep as they do to attract an audience and fanbase.

Music is a persuasive tool on people from the blend of all of the notes and sounds that

come together to influence people. The Tenors are no exception. The brass and wind of

instruments they choose is to broadcast their terrific harmonise and beautiful voices. The amount

of thought and energy that goes into each song and how the meaning of the song could be

heightened should make them feel proud of the outcome they get from their fans. People don’t

realize how much effort and energy goes into putting on a concert the way they do. The stories

that they tell are planned to be told at the times they do. Every note they sing is planned to be

sung the way the sing it. Their routine is always constant and people don’t acknowledge enough

of how impressive that truly is. What’s even more impressive on top of that is that all three or

four guys needs to take the other one into consideration. Like a person who leads a band or

performs solo only has to worry about their vision for what happens whenever it happens, but

when working with other people as equals, people must agree on ideas and bounce off these

ideas to one another to make sure the show goes as perfect as possible. That’s why the three

performing is so majestic and inspiring.

The Tenors, formerly known as the Canadian Tenors, is a classical pop group that is

aesthetically pleasing more so than other musical groups. They are so different than any other

group for many reasons. First off is because of how they are a trio with three different vocals

ranges. Next, they tell the audience stories about themselves so that the audience feels more

connected with who they are and the reasons why they are singing the songs that they sing.
Because the are a classical pop group, they attract and perform for a specific type of audience

that has proven to become their fan base. The way this fan base grows is by singing all around

the world and in multiple languages so that many different kinds of people can enjoy their music.

(Word Count 2546)


Citation Page:

● @globeandmail. "Meet the tenors formerly known as the Canadian Tenors." The

Globe and Mail. 2012. Accessed December 17, 2016.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/meet-the-tenors-formerly-known-as-the-

canadian-tenors/article4854947/.

● @tenorsmusic. "The Tenors | Biography." The Tenors. Accessed December 17,

2016. http://www.tenorsmusic.com/biography/.

● "The Tenors Open Up About Member Remigio Pereira Altering 'O Canada' Lyrics at

All-Star Game." Billboard. Accessed December 17, 2016.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7439071/the-tenors-open-up-about-member-

remigio-pereira-altering-o-canada-lyrics-at-mlb-all-star-game.

● Tolstoy, Leo. "What Is Art?" Trans. Aylmer Maude. What Is Art? n.p., 1898. 37-

42. Print.

● Graham, Gordon. Philosophy of the Arts: an Introduction to Aesthetics. 3rd

Edition. London: Routledge, 2005.

● Collingwood, R. G. "Principles of Art." Philosophy of Art. By D. Boersema.

Boulder: n.p., 2013. 111-17. Print.