Introduction to Choral Music
In this week/module you will practice learning an performing choral repertoire. The pieces range in difficulty, and I have made videos for some of the more challenging pieces that will walk you through the process of learning your part. For all of the selections in this module, there is a folder in the Google Drive under "Singing Repertoire" that has the sheet music and practice audio files. There is an audio file for each voice part alone, files that have 2-3 parts together, and a file with all of the parts played at once.
Don't know your voice part?
This video to the right will give you a ballpark of what your
voice range is. Most of the pieces I have included are
SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), although one includes
soprano II / mezzo-soprano. You may not fit perfectly into
any of these ranges, but choose the best fit for you.
Truly learning choral music takes time, so don't be discouraged if you feel a bit lost and confused after going through it the first few times. Practice as much as you need, and if a piece seems to difficult, try a different one.
If you are able, practice these with a group -- it makes it more fun!
Before you begin singing, it is crucial that you properly warm up. This will help you sing your best and protect your voice.
The Repertoire (so far):
(Roughly) in order from easiest to hardest:
* has video tutorial
"You Raise Me Up" - Josh Groban: This arrangement has a lot of unison between the soprano & alto parts and the tenor & bass parts (meaning they sing the same notes at the same time), which makes it a bit easier. The arrangement is also mostly homophonic on the chorus (meaning all parts sing the same words and rhythm, only different pitches).
"Down by the Riverside" - Traditional Spiritual: This piece is a fun one and is rather repetitive, which makes it easier to learn than some of the other selections.
"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" - The Andrew Sisters: This one is a fun & jazzy piece. One you get the melody in your head, it becomes easier to sing. Two things that make this piece more challenging are the fast tempo and the frequent use of accidentals.
*"If Ye Love Me" - Thomas Tallis: A simple and pretty piece -- fairly slow and short. It becomes slightly more complex when the voice parts stagger on the second page.
"Ave verum corpus" - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: This is a beautiful piece written in Latin, although an English text alternative is also provided. The harmonies are very pleasing and relatively easy to follow. There are some shifts in tonality, however, which makes this piece one of the more challenging ones.
*"An die Musik" - Franz Schubert: The most difficult part of this piece may be getting a grasp on the German pronunciation. That said, the soprano part is quite melodic and easy to pick up. The other parts that sing harmony, however, are a bit more difficult.
*"Sicut locutus est" - Johann Sebastian Bach: This is a fugue in 5 parts, and Bach's polyphonic writing can be quite confusing at first. There is little to no unison, so it is important that you keep count of where you are in the music, and anticipate your entrances and pitches before they happen. However, with practice, this piece becomes a lot of fun to sing.