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SATB choir - independant voicing prominence.


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#1 shawn

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 09:57

Finally I have joined the choir, and how excellent it is.  I'm a novice bass, and was curious about my vocal prominence amongst the other voices.  My piano teacher did tell me once that when voicing a chord at the piano, the upper most (Soprano) should be loudest followed by bass, and alto and tenor fill in between presumably with the same prominence.

 

 

Who knows anything about this, because i really don't want to ruin the harmony.

 

 


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#2 Latin pianist

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 10:33

A good choir leader will be able to balance the parts. Usually the sopranos are the prominent part but of course all the other voices get their turn at the melody at some point. The choir leader will encourage the right volume of each part. And no one voice in a part should stand out. This can be tactfully dealt with although not all conductors are tactful!
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#3 shawn

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 11:29

Thanks for the quick response.

 

Yes tactful !, So far so good.

 

You say no part should stand out - I wonder if i'm over thinking my part, but looking into Bass guitar theory, and the Baroque figured bass etc, there seems to be special emphasis and importance on the bass part as the foundation of the harmony, what advise could you share in this respect please.


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#4 Latin pianist

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 11:37

I meant that one person's voice shouldn't be prominent in a part.
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#5 shawn

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 12:05

I understand, thankyou for your reply.  


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#6 BadStrad

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 13:06

As LP says the voices should generally blend but may be more prominent at points in the music. Sometimes this blending is achieved by moving people around so don't be surprised if you are sometimes asked to stand somewhere different.
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#7 Tenor Viol

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 13:11

A good rule-of-thumb is that if you can't hear your neighbours in the choir, you are possibly too loud. However, we've all sung next to people whose mouths open and it's doubtful if any sound is coming out... Don't be afraid of singing out - the MD's job is amongst others to balance the sound. If you're concerned / worried, have a chat with the MD (most of them don't bite...).


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#8 elemimele

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 23:45

Here's a little you-tube clip of a Polish university choir who I reckon have got it just right. Listening, you almost think you can hear individual people - the parts aren't homogenous and devoid of individual character (think how violins all merge into one string-morasse in Mantovani, intentionally of course). And yet actually no individual stands out from their part. It's worth listening to well-balanced choirs. Besides which, this lot have also sung the theme to the Muppet show, and that makes them worth a listen.


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#9 shawn

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 04:05

Here's a little you-tube clip of a Polish university choir who I reckon have got it just right. Listening, you almost think you can hear individual people - the parts aren't homogenous and devoid of individual character (think how violins all merge into one string-morasse in Mantovani, intentionally of course). And yet actually no individual stands out from their part. It's worth listening to well-balanced choirs. Besides which, this lot have also sung the theme to the Muppet show, and that makes them worth a listen.

 

:D  :D  :woot: I get the picture now, thanks for all the quick responses, happy 2020.


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