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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 ...
Нет войне's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Best practices for community choir audition with unknown song

I share your puzzlement about the audition. As a choral conductor myself, I wonder why they choose a standard audition piece without informing the candidate. If the desire is to see how well the ...
phoog's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

How loud are tubular bells?

Tubular bells can be very loud. They can cut through a full orchestra, so what you are proposing should work. For an example of this kind of writing you might want to listen to a recording of Leonard ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 20.9k
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 ...
Stinkfoot's user avatar
  • 6,833
15 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 ...
gidds's user avatar
  • 1,517
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 ...
Mafii's user avatar
  • 289
11 votes
Accepted

What does the marking "Tempo" mean in the middle of a piece of music?

Since the "tempo" marking comes each time after a ritardando and occurs at a place where one would expect an "a tempo" marking it can only be an abbreviation of "a tempo"....
PiedPiper's user avatar
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10 votes
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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 ...
KeithS's user avatar
  • 8,195
9 votes
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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 ...
Athanasius's user avatar
  • 12.6k
9 votes

Breathing strategies writing choral music

They will breathe. And they will breathe whenever it makes sense to them. Assuming they are conducted, the conductor/director may ask them to breathe in certain places and/or not breathe in other ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 56.6k
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 ...
Нет войне's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Breathing strategies writing choral music

If the choir has enough members, maybe half the bass-tenor-alto-soprano could breath alternatively? They could. Shall this produce a natural legato sound? It will. Is this horrendous? It is not. ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.2k
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 ...
BobRodes's user avatar
  • 9,266
7 votes

What one-octave set of notes is most comfortable for an SATB choir to sing in unison/octaves?

What range for a one-octave melody is likely to be most successful and least uncomfortable for the singers in a standard SATB choir? It depends largely on the dynamic level and character of the ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.2k
7 votes

Best practices for community choir audition with unknown song

Auditions are a different experience from concerts or lessons, and unfortunately most folks get to spend very little time getting used to them. The very best way to "get better at auditions" ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 16.6k
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 ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
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 ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
5 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Anna's user avatar
  • 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 ...
Steve Mansfield's user avatar
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
Matt L.'s user avatar
  • 20.1k
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 ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,462
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... ...
nuggethead's user avatar
  • 4,860
5 votes

Why do people think rapping is new and different from singing?

Why do people think rapping is new and different from singing? Because, well, they are. Perhaps you meant to ask what the differences are. I asked this because I don’t think rap and singing are ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.2k
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 ...
Janey E.'s user avatar
  • 141
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, ...
Coemgenus's user avatar
  • 436
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 ...
ChristopheLynch's user avatar
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 ...
Albrecht Hügli's user avatar
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, ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.3k
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 ...
Albrecht Hügli's user avatar

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