NEW PRACTICAL METHOD OF FUNCTIONAL EXERCISES FOR CHOIR
208 EXERCISES FOR MIXED CHOIR
This method synthesizes a work I began in 1987 which involved several vocal ensembles.
Above all, I would like to mention “Gaudium choir” to whom are dedicated most of these exercises.
This method has been thought as a sort of “ideal journey” that can be done by a choir or vocal ensemble for a period of a decade at least.
These exercises have been written with the aim to fill in, until a certain extent, choir-singers technical and musical deficiencies, as my choir has.
Many of the singers with whom I have worked, seem to have problems in reading or learning music, in particular in memorizing texts.
They were often lacking a sense of rhythm, besides having a musical ear to improve as a result of many intonation problems (ex. diatonic intervals within the same pure octave).
Sometimes our amateur choirs, but also professional ones, are lacking in some important parts considered essential for a musician background however underestimated or even ignored by many choirmasters.
I have decided to entitle this book: “New practical method: functional exercises for choir” because each exercise has been thought to improve a specific musical matter as vocal training, musical phrasing and intonation. Exercises are not in a progressive order, as usual, but alternately according to their musical and didactic function.
The method shows a sort of “general plan” which can be followed by a choirmaster; however, it can be used also, as a kind of “Reference book”, that I wish can be useful to improve choir musical skills.
In my opinion, methods that are structured according to ascending levels of difficulties, are never going to be done until the end. Usually, the simpler exercises are carefully chosen from the index by students to avoid the most difficult ones, which are obviously omitted. This necessarily means that a student will not improve as much as he could do from his initial stage of knowledge.
Each exercise has been thought to solve one by one choir problems and those of a single voice.
This manual is divided into four sections:
the first part contains vocalizes and preparatory exercises or a series of exercises that can be learned by a group in a very short time if they are practiced with patience, constant effort and methodology.
In the second section you can find “Exercises to sung reading on different tempos”.
These pieces are written following the main harmonic-scheme: I-IV-I (2r) V-I of major scale and can be performed also in minor keys as all the other exercises of this method.
Voices can be freely moved around to obtain various choral sounds and also many other ways to solve vocal intonation problems of a choir.
When a choir-singer will have learned the basic harmonic-scheme he can concentrate on rhythm and different tempos that are going to change for each exercise.
In this way, choir singer will improve his reading skills in a natural way.
Third section is on “Polyphonic singing”.
Based on the same harmonic-scheme, these exercises are at a higher level with a contrapuntal writing inside.
Then we get to the “heart” of this method: “Practical exercises for choir”.
It consists in different exercises for choral singing, using specific techniques to raise the level of the choir from both a technical and musical point of view.
These techniques combine intonation as psycho-acoustic features, without forgetting a careful ear-training and an effective memorization.
Each exercise should be practiced using all possible phonemes.
For this reason it is necessary that the choirmaster changes consonants and vowels articulation to solve specific problems of the choir.
I hope it is quite clear that the use of consonants and vowels in the exercises, as well as dynamics, are merely intended as suggestions and can be changed at any time.
I wish with this method to be able to help any choir to improve and get better.
One’s never have to forget that a chorus is a wonderful, but at the same time, mysterious instrument.
Here you can express the deepest feelings of human beings, make closer friends, improve your temperament and much more.
At last, I must say, that a choir is mainly a “school of life” that is the highest way to practice “Great music”, without forgetting that is also the most economical one!