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Thread: Anybody got any good sources?

  1. #1
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    Default Anybody got any good sources?

    I've been wanting to learn about how vocals and chorus music works for some time now. If I ever wanted to write a song with words I wouldn't know what to do.

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    I sincerely don't want to rain on your parade but....if you need to ask this question you may not be ready for this yet. Nobody will be able to help except to comment on your work.

    One way to start would be to take existing words - a short poem or piece of prose - and set it. If you're worried about the voice ranges, look them up: You get treble or soprano; mezzo-soprano; alto or contralto; tenor; baritone and bass.

    The soloist will have it transposed if it doesn't fit their voice.

    Then write your own words. No one can help you here.

    The usual format is to give predominance to the voice but you can integrate the voice with the ensemble (making it equal to the instruments - probably best to leave this until you've set a few songs. The soloist doesn't always have to sing - a portion could be spoken, or spoken with approximate pitches.

    Writing for an unaccompanied choir needs a good sense of harmony, the ability to write voice leading, and knowing what your choir is capable of, if your work is atonal or strongly chromatic.

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    Let me make it easier for you to understand what I'm asking. I can write a tune and I can write lyrics to go with the tune. However, if I needed someone else to sing it, how do I communicate those sounds. I don't know what notes I'm singing. Now that's just a question for actual lyrics. In choir they do sustain alot of nonsense like ooooooo aaaaaaaaa eeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I don't mean no disrespect by "nonsense" but I don't know what to call it, hence another question I'd like to have answered. Also how to distinguish one type of nonsense from other types of nonsense like that tribal stuff. And again, how to communicate that so a singer would be able to pick up the sheet music and do what I want without having to hear me first.

    There are names for these things, I know there are, I've heard them batted around at different points of time and I commited none to memory. Just knowing what they are would make a world of difference.

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    Senior Member zlya's Avatar
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    Are you asking how to read and write music notation? Notes on a staff?

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    go to a shapenote singing school or a scared harp singing & do what they tell you to do. take some beginner piano lessons.
    in two months you'll know more.

    dj

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    Senior Member Oneiros's Avatar
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    Just write the sounds below the notes as you would with lyrics. You can use the phonetic alphabet (may need to google this), otherwise just write the sound - i.e. "Hmmmmm" for humming, "Aaaah", etc. If the same sound is sustained over several bars, you don't need to write it below every note - only where the sound changes.

    If you are singing something but don't know which notes, just try and find them on a keyboard. It may take a little while but it's not too hard.

    From what you've said I guess you know how they conventionally write lyrics below a staff? Divide them into syllables, one syllable per note unless its a melisma (in which case you slur the notes), etc.

    Hope this helps. If you can't get enough onto the page, just talk to a singer. Classical notation does have its weaknesses.

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