SmarterGuide to A Cappella: Harmonies in Small Groups

What a strange place to sing an American song about.

What a strange place to sing an American song about.

A great many songs you’ll run into have prominent harmony parts in them, and larger groups have the luxury of being able to spin off a single singer from any given part who will step up to the front with a microphone and harmonize away. Sadly, our example group has only 7 members: 2 basses, 2 baritones, 2 tenor IIs, and a lone tenor I. And on top of that, one of the tenor IIs has the solo!

In these situations, your arrangements are going to generally be strictly four-part, and any harmony lines that are important will have to be written into the block itself. This isn’t that big a problem, however — you’ll just have to be a bit creative in assembling the arrangement. Our example of the moment is Why Georgia, by John Mayer.

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