Print Story basic vocal musicianship
By gzt (Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:34:48 PM EST) gzt, music, nerds, choir, sight singing (all tags)
Going to have to be learning some of this.

They're starting a church in our town and the wifing unit and I are, essentially, the choir. We both are decent in the "voice" and "knowing a fair bit of church music" department, but a little lacking in the "practical musicianship" department. That is to say, I'm really bad at looking at a piece of music and singing it or accurately producing, say, a G given that somebody else is singing an E. The bar of musicianship needed is relatively low: the music used is generally fairly technically simple in rhythm, melody, and harmony (unless you want to dig into the Chaikovsky).

But, hey, I already know the difference between Dorian and Phrygian and what tritone substitution is, if that counts for anything (and: vii┬║7 is sol-less). Not to mention, of course, being able to actually read music even if I can't faithfully reproduce it vocally. But, yeah, the both of us will have to work on this.

Drat, I've been avoiding being an actual part of a choir and learning this kind of junk for years. It's the domain of NERDS.

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basic vocal musicianship | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)
It's stuff you can learn by doing. by ana (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:40:06 PM EST
 Especially if you can learn a tune by ear, and play it on a, shall we say, more constrained musical instrument than a voice for learning purposes. It took me a while, but I can more or less do polyphony now, even one voice on a part, with a couple of run-throughs to see how the harmony fits together. And as I understand it, that's more complicated than the chant-like stuff you're likely to be wanting to sing.

Best of luck.

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

like everything, it's just a matter of practice by gzt (2.00 / 0) #2 Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:05:00 PM EST
Byzantine chant is hard, but Russian chant is easy and we're doing Russian. Four parts, not much motion, easy chords, easy cadences (for the most part). Unless you want to dip into Rimsy-Korsakov and Chaikovsky.

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There are people... by ana (2.00 / 0) #3 Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:29:24 PM EST
who don't seem to be able to hear pitches well, or at least sing what they hear. Guy showed up at the rehearsal this past week, ostensibly as an accompanist, but he wanted to sing bass. Can't carry a tune in a bucket, but he's okay on a keyboard. 

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

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fortunately... by gzt (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:09:45 PM EST wife and I have verified that neither of us has that affliction, so we can probably improve with practice.

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Why is Byzantine hard and Russian easy? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 01:44:18 PM EST
I mean, apart from notation and scales and everything? Russian sounds awful (soooo boring) unless the singers are top-notch whereas Byzantine works OK with most moderately competent people.

I may be able to dig out some resources for you if you're looking for some.

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I don't know about you... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 06:05:03 PM EST
...but I find Byzantine requires a lot more personal knowledge of stuff, while the Russian requires a just a little esp. if you have the sheet music. I find Byzantine unlistenable unless there's a high quality voice. Also, Russian allows congregational participation much more easily.

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difficulty by gzt (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 11:19:37 AM EST
not like this:

but more like this:

I wish we could do the Georgian one, but nobody does anything that complex. The one we do is a little more difficult than the Znamenny one, actually, but most of the musical settings around are simpler than Znamenny, as we typically use Obikhod, which is a simplified descendant of Znamenny.

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Woof. by ana (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 11:35:05 AM EST
That's unlike any Gregorian chant I've seen in Western Christendom (which can be quite elaborate, but it's monophonic).

But yeah, the 2nd one should be pretty doable; even the harmony parts have a certain melodic sense so you can learn them and remember.

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

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Yeah, second is quite typical and not so bad by gzt (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 12:41:33 PM EST
the georgian one would be done only in georgia or by a well-staffed cathedral choir who is showing off for some reason (say, 100th anniversary of being founded or something).

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Several times a week... by ana (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 12:50:34 PM EST
I tell myself I really should, like, actually read what's written. Somehow I automagically transformed Georgian to Gregorian. Makes good sense now. 

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

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Nice by LoppEar (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:00:27 AM EST
Growing up in the church choir, I feel in about the same boat - capable of singing and carrying a tune, but my self-confidence drops off a cliff at about the point of "accurately producing a harmony line". Also, super-incredibly rusty these days. As ana says, I'm sure it's something that several practice runs will make much less daunting. My parents were often "the whole choir" too, it at least makes it easy to schedule choir practice during the week. ;)

Your solution is as simple as it is trivial by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 06:44:09 PM EST
You need to go to Boston, kidnap ana and store him in your church basement. Only let him out for mass, on the condition that he sings in your choir.

Vive le Montréal libre.
Been trying to kick the habit by ana (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:25:19 PM EST
of living in church basements off the crumbs that fall from the table.

I suppose I should get out more, but... uh... (how to put this...) Iowa Straight?? 

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

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basic vocal musicianship | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)