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Songs for Choirs

Buzzard Not Quite a Fugue

Musical details and teaching discussion points found in this SATB song include:

  • The a capella song begins with an anacrusis on the fourth beat in 4/4 time.
  • It is in the key of G minor throughout until the G major coda.
  • Soprano range: D to high G with an optional B flat
    Alto range: D to E flat
    Tenor range: D to D
    Bass range: G to G
  • Legato quavers with semiquavers and semiquaver note/semiquaver rest patterns with legato and sustained notes are a textural feature.
  • The pitch and pace of notes reflect the drama or the words.
  • This song is a perfect tongue-in-cheek encore piece.
  • Not difficult to learn and perfect.
 
Songs for Choirs - Not Quite a Fugue

A Clever Change of Plan

Musical details and teaching discussion points found in this SSA song include:

  • 6/8 time and a capella close diatonic harmonies
  • Begins in C major, modulates through D major, G major, C major and finishes in F major. Reading accidentals to work out keys is easy to explain and hear.
  • Soprano 1 range: D to high B flat
    Soprano 2 range: Middle C to high G
    Alto range: G below Middle C to B flat
  • Suitable for good sight readers as well as those learning to follow their part in a three-part vocal score.
  • Consonant clarity and vowel stretching techniques enhance the listening for an audience in this story song.
  • Parallel thirds, singing two notes on one syllable, the harmonic importance of having repeated alto notes on the same pitch, contrary movement between S and S, S and A; rests and their purpose; inter-part echo singing accents and slurs.
  • Note types are mostly semiquavers with quavers, although some demisemiquavers are introduced.
Songs for Choirs - A Clever Change of Plan

When Your Pants Begin to Go

Words are the poem of the same name by Henry Lawson

 

Musical details and teaching discussion points found in this unison song include:

  • Piano accompaniment
  • Each verse of the musical score comprises two verses of the poem, alternating between G major and G minor.
  • The words are particularly important tossing clearly to tell the story and enable an audience to feel the impact of poverty in early Australia.
  • Performance notes are included.
  • The song lends itself to being divided into choir, small groups and solo sections or sung entirely by a singing class or choir.
  • Vocal parts can be easily taken from the accompaniment to make it an SSAA or SATB song.
  • Henry Lawson's biographical notes are also given briefly to encourage deeper research by choristers and listeners.
  • The words are a valuable part of Australia's literary and historic heritage.
Songs for Choirs - When Your Pants Begin to Go

Riders on the Earth

Musical details and teaching discussion points found in this a capella SATB song include:

  • This serious and dramatic song begins with a spoken quotation and vocal sound effects to create an impact for the audience.
  • The song is mostly in G minor and has sections marked Introductory Recitation, Sound Wave Meditation, The Awareness, The Distress Call, Chorale (in G major), Sound Wave and Environmental Plea.
  • Soprano range: D to high B natural
    Alto range: Middle C to D
    Tenor range: Middle C sharp to A
    Bass range: Low G to A
Songs for Choirs - Riders on the Earth (Earth Song)

The Internet Song

Musical details and teaching discussion points found in this two-part song include:

  • Piano accompaniment
  • F major and 4/4 time
  • Upper part range: Middle C to D
    Lower part range: A below Middle C to B flat
Songs for Choirs - The Internet Song

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