I sent a new friend a melody for his lullaby lyric last night. Very odd thing to do, but the tune came out and felt like it wasn't really mine to keep. He replied, describing the sweet "mew" my kit-tay added to the recording as a descant, so I had to look up descant, and learned a new thing. Seems I have been singing them all my life without knowing the term.
I know almost nothing about music, except that I can play by ear on my mother's old Martin guitar, and sometimes a song comes out of me. I was also THE rebellious 2nd grade piano student, but mostly because I wanted someone to tell me to practice, and no one did. (It was the same with the flute later on.) And, according to the Johnson O'Conner Institute for Aptitude Testing, I have perfect rhythm memory.
There is a real-life memory, though that I love more than most, of the day when we were supposed to play Mozart. Minuet in G. My piano teacher intended to skip me because I was never prepared, but something about this piece was difficult enough that I had mastered it. No, really. So on my turn I played it note-perfect. I created an absolute stunned hush in an after-school piano class at Armstrong Elementary School in Highland Park, Texas in 1973.
The next class I told my teacher that we could no longer afford for me to attend, (lie) and that was the end of that.
Growing up when I did trained me for harmonies, too, and you can tell how long I've known a song by how many different harmonies I've made up. I have to say it is sometimes frustrating, like a talent I should invest more it. But I don't, I just sing really loud in my car.
But, today I learned that I sing descants whenever possible, mostly without knowing.