(though I am not at all planning on taking up singing in a serious way) Nico has sent along a funny and delightful and doubtless true list from William Byrd.
Reasons set down by th' auctor to persuade everie one to learn to sing:
1. It is a knowledge easlie taught and quicklie learned, when there is a good master and an apt scholar.
2. The exercise of singing is delightful to nature, and good to preserve the health of man.
3. It do strengthen all parts of the heart, and doth open the pipes.
4. It is a singular good comedic for a stuttering and stammering in the speech.
5. It is the best means to preserve a perfect pronunciation, and to make a good orator.
6. It is the onlie way when nature hath bestowed the benefit of a good voyse ; which gift is so rare, as there is not one among a thousand that hath it; and in mannie that excellent gift is lost, because they want the art to express nature.
7. There is not any musicke of instruments whatsoever comparable to that which is made by the voyces of men, when the voyces are good, and the same well sorted and ordered.
8. The better the voyce is, the sweeter it is to honor and serve God therewith ; and the voyce of man is chiefly to be employed to that end - owns spiritus laudet Dominum.