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25 votes

Is it ok for a choir to learn by listening?

I'm in a high school choir and we just got a new teacher. He is adamant that we don't listen to rehearsal tracks or recordings, because "real musicians don't." Is there merit to this? It's certainly ...
16 votes

Is it ok for a choir to learn by listening?

"real musicians don't." Is there merit to this? As you have stated it, so bluntly, this assertion has no 'merit'. Countless great musicians - including jazz folks, not just rockers - have learned to ...
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14 votes

What is this curve going upwards to a note that's also detached from the previous note?

This is the sign for a ‘scoop’, indicating that you start singing a little lower than the target pitch (perhaps a semitone or two), and slide/‘reach’ up to it. In this case, all three affected parts ...
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12 votes

Is it ok for a choir to learn by listening?

That's a poor argument imo. Many "real musicians" do very much sing or play by ear. They listen to lots of recordings, and lots of other musicians. Some can't even read sheet music, and only play by ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Why is my choir director telling a bunch of rednecks to drop their Rs as though they were Londoners?

It's not arbitrary. American accents in choral singing (especially Southern) produce several disadvantages in tone, tuning and volume. Specifically, the American hard "r" forces the speaker/singer to ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Is a cappella xenharmonic by default?

I admire a lot of Adam's work, but I think he's exaggerating a bit about the reasons why choirs get off pitch. (Though he's stating a commonly held belief -- or perhaps common excuse.) Yes, most ...
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8 votes

Why is my choir director telling a bunch of rednecks to drop their Rs as though they were Londoners?

It's common for a certain musical style to be associated with a certain accent. Adele ditches her Norf Laaaaaaandan accent for a distinctly American sound when she's belting out her latest soul-tinged ...
7 votes

Why is my choir director telling a bunch of rednecks to drop their Rs as though they were Londoners?

It's a bit old-fashioned, and reasons have to do with placement (our accent has a lot of nasalization of vowels) and airflow restriction (try saying "er" as you normally do, and then the way the Brits ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Why would food or drinks affect the vocal folds?

There is far more to singing than just the vocal folds. Much of the sound of a singers voice is shaped and influenced by muscles in the throat and face (including your nasal passages). So even if ...
6 votes
Accepted

The Elements of the Oratorio

Oratorios are similar to operas, but are unstaged, and are based on religious topics. Some common examples include: Handel's Messiah, Saul, Israel in Egypt, and Esther; Bach's Christmas Oratorio (and, ...
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6 votes

Snare drum volume vs. chorus

Volume suggestions… Stick types, in volume order... Heavy sticks 2B Light sticks 7A Wood whacks/rods Thinner rods Brushes If the drum is too ringy, you can either tune it out, stick a piece of paper ...
  • 24k
5 votes
Accepted

Automatically create choir rehersal files from midi files

If I understand correctly, you have a midi file with N different tracks, and you want to create N sound files out of that where for each sound file, one of the tracks is proportionately louder than ...
  • 88
5 votes
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What's a reasonable path for a new singer to take to make it into a choir?

First of all, voice lessons is a great start! Your teacher will teach you proper singing techniques like breath control and voice placement. You might also want to ask your teacher about sight ...
  • 66
5 votes

Why does Libera wear earpieces?

I only watched for a few seconds but it's clear that it is in-ear monitoring. It may be that there's a click track running in the earpiece to keep them in time; maybe it's to make sure they can hear ...
5 votes

How low is the lowest tone that a human can sing?

You'll probably find the lowest bass voices in Russian choral music, reaching down to C1 (32.7 Hz). Such low basses are called Oktavists: The Power of the Russian Oktavist
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5 votes

How many violins should play alongside a single flute?

While it's true that a violin can play loud, a flute is technically louder due to its nature. Not only: trying to play very loud on a violin while keeping a good sound is hard, and there are limits ...
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5 votes

What is this curve going upwards to a note that's also detached from the previous note?

It's a sort of vocal glissando. The word is sung, with the last part of it sliding up from the first to the second note's pitch. Can be done best with vox or instruments which can slide or bend notes -...
  • 178k
5 votes

Which clef is used for the tenors here?

I'd say trust the position of the flat and call it a G-clef. You can tell this is correct because the C instruments in the score are also in F. A quick perusal through the score also shows that... ...
  • 2,117
4 votes

What is the difference between Gregorian chant and Gothic chant?

Indeed they are similar! That particular Kyrie is called Cunctípotens Génitor Deus, one of many Kyries in Gregorian chant. What they did, back in the Middle Ages, was borrow it from Gregorian chant, ...
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4 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between Gregorian chant and Gothic chant?

I don't know a huge amount about plainsong however I can think of a couple of possibilities. The first thing to note is that there are definitely some differences between the two videos you post: the ...
4 votes

Writing SATB arrangements so that the bass voice is still audible

If you look at standard SATB arrangements of hymns, you will notice that the bass often moves in contrary motion to the melody, and often in rhythmic intervals in the middle of phrases when no one ...
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4 votes

Do professional choirs run-through on the day?

It depends on the circumstances, but if it is a community choir, I assume you don't rehearse more than once or twice every week. Hence, rehearsing on the day of the concert or the day before will ...
  • 141
4 votes

How, and how long does it take to learn sight singing by yourself?

Try out the methode READING BY WRITNG In your case with basic knowledge this will mean: Play and sing the scale of the song you want to practice and notate it on a sheet (staff and clef) always ...
4 votes

How to condense an SATB choir section with mixed dynamics, voices & hairpins

One way is to place any expression markings relative to that voice's placement on the staff. In other words, markings relating to the soprano and tenor lines should go above their respective staves, ...
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4 votes

When should a phrase-final long note be tied to a shorter note?

As you ask for singers and choirs it might depend of the ending consonant. Many amateur singers don't keep the whole note and give not the exact value. Normally it is up to the conductor to tell the ...
4 votes

Is a cappella xenharmonic by default?

Well, you'd need to have a really, really excellent choir for this effect to be observable. For most choirs, yes, they drift. A lot. Unless the choir is accompanied, they will end every piece on a ...
4 votes
Accepted

Which clef is used for the tenors here?

This is some sort of old style tenor clef. Basically you have a G-clef with a tenor-C-clef superimposed, just to indicate that this is for tenor voice and thus transposed an octave down. So this is ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Choosing a song for choir acceptance audition

We can't possibly suggest specific titles. But there is something I can say to guide you. It will make more sense if I start out this way: I went to hear a performance of The Fantasticks at my ...
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