Living next door to a singing teacher?

Living next door to a singing teacher?


norman lebrecht

September 05, 2015

It’s a common New York problem, apparently. Read here.

No idea what they mean about being ‘grandfathered in’. And not sure, either, about the tenor of the New York Times advice. There has to be a better way to live with a singer next door.

fat singer


  • CDH says:

    A simple google check would have made it perfectly clear what a grandfather clause is. Basically, it means that you can’t change the rule on a sitting tenant. It is indeed most often applied to pets: if a building decides to ban them, they can refuse tenancy to new applicants who have pets, but they cannot force sitting tenants to give up theirs, although they can restrict them from getting more (whether purchasing a replacement for a dead pet or allowing the litters of pets to stay). In this case, the sitting tenants were apparently running their business unhindered until some new rules were adopted and the right to do so was ‘grandfathered’ in. (The reprehensible tendency to turn nouns into verbs may have made the meaning obscure).

    From Wikipedia:

    “A grandfather clause (or grandfather policy) is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases. Those exempt from the new rule are said to have grandfather rights or acquired rights.”

    There are ample other definitions of Wikipedia does not seem scholarly enough.

    • Emil says:

      Wikipedia searches are too time-consuming for Lebrecht.

      • Dan P. says:

        I’ve never quite understood why people here feel they need to be so snippy. We have a site that aggregates stories of interest to us and instead of merely amplifying or explaining or even correcting something that may be incomplete or misunderstood, certain folks feel compelled to be unpleasant and superior about it. Why?

        • CDH says:

          Pattern of inaccuracy, carelessness, malice toward certain performers, hostility toward the notion that there are issues to discuss in the Middle East and not one “correct” approach, total inability to take criticism? The valuable post regarding the theft of a violone and double bass from a fellow, complete wit his own descriptions f the articles for identification should they turn up where they could be recognised, has been removed, probably because a few posters pointed out a GLARING and totally misleading error in its headline (and body) due to a total misreading of the original contribution. It is cruelly unfair to the beleaguered owner, and indicative of a temperament beyond criticism for well-documented problems in some of the work here.

          It is frustrating to see such a major talent as NL act so irresponsibly, and the fact of Slipped Disc existing does not make it immune to some of the normal give and take of human interaction. And the increasing carelessness throws much of the reportage here into question.

          We all have our blind spots and our prejudices. When we operate in the public arena we do not get carte blanche to do so unchallenge.But that seems to be demanded here.

          • Harold Lewis says:

            CDH’s contributions are a real godsend. I was searching for a text to serve as a case study of pompous, condescending and supercilious commentary. True to form, CDH obliges. I am sure NL must be grateful to have such a punctilious critic, though I am equally certain NL is more than capable of swatting that particular gadfly.

          • norman lebrecht says:

            CDH, I have no idea who you are but you have reached the griping limit. You are using (and abusing) a free service. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere.

          • CDH says:

            Mr. Lebrecht, I am just curious as to why you did not simply correct the error on the violone/double bass theft. It seems unfair to the victim that you are so sensitive to the legitimate pointing out of a quite serious mistake — by others as well as myself — that you remove a post that was surely meant to be a service to a musician. If you had not cared for the critical observations on the post in question, you could have removed them and seen to the problem. Disproportionate response, I think.

          • norman lebrecht says:

            In a very tight schedule, I gave time to highlight the theft. There has been no complaint from the musician.

          • CDH says:

            And yet other posts are not deleted. Very odd. Not everyone read the site every day — people might have come to it, as to other items, a few days later. We seem to get updates on instruments left behind and otherwise lost or stolen, as well as on travelling difficulties.

            You broke pattern — you can hardly be surprised to be questioned. And the musician may have other avenues he is working on. And may not know the post has been withdrawn.

            Sorry, but I consider this badly played.

    • MWnyc says:


      The ability to verb nouns is one of the English language’s best features!

  • herrera says:

    “Perhaps, with a little prodding, the opera singers can train a new generation of performers at a lower volume.”

    LOL. Only in New York.

  • Robert Levine says:

    Those who have succeeded in writing a blog with multiple posts every day (some of which contain news which most of us would never see otherwise) should feel free to criticize Mr. Lebrecht at length. The rest of us should STFU.

    • CDH says:

      It’s a forum — an exchange of opinions, and a conversation, argument, debate, not a shrine for worship. And I think it is legitimate to question a mistake (not without consequences) that could have been corrected instead of which it has been summarily removed. WTF, to use your construction, is wrong with making a correction when several people have pointed out an error of consequence? Of admitting a mistake? Ecclesiastes !:2.

      • Robert Levine says:

        Yes, it’s legitimate to point out errors. Being snarky in the process is not. That’s neither conversation not debate; it’s simply rude.

  • Blair Tindall says:

    Robert Levine is quite correct. Point out an error, but how about doing it politely?