The big fat opera singer effect.

When a commercial comes on, sometimes the music is familiar (even if you can’t remember the name of the tune), drawing you in almost before you even know it.  Other times, it’s something loud and classical, the kind of thing that makes you want to start belting it out like a big fat opera singer (even if you don’t really know the words).  

The piece of classical music scientifically proven to have the greatest likelihood (almost 100%) of producing what researchers have termed “the big fat opera singer effect?”  The “Hallelujah Chorus” from “The Messiah.”  

A few years ago, I went to a sing-along version of “The Messiah.”  Anybody who showed up at practice could sing in the performance that evening.  Suffering from “the effect,” I had to be part of their blastissimo (Italian for “peel the paint off the ceiling”) performance of the “Hallelujah Chorus.” 

At practice, I found that a bunch of other songs I knew from commercials were also from “The Messiah.”  And that the words to the songs (and the “Hallelujah Chorus”) were Advent readings from Isaiah (like Sunday’s).  So if you catch yourself humming along during the Old Testament reading, blame it on the commercials.  More on this tomorrow.