Interval exercises

If I asked you to measure the distance between two objects, you could reply with a variety of valid responses- Feet and inches Meters Paces Cubits Smoots (Anyone from MIT?) Well, the same can go for the aural distance between two notes- A number of pitches Several notches Steps and skips These musical units of […]

Fusioncappella

It’s just been stuck in my head lately. Nota, the winners of NBC’s The Sing Off, did an amazing fusion that’s been lodged in my brain of Jay Sean’s “Down”. Watch this: If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it’s missing. […]

Arranging Walk-Through: Happy Birthday

In this article, we’ll be going through the motions of arranging a song. Instead of looking at a completed arrangement, we’ll walk through every step of the process to show how an a cappella arrangement evolves and is finally completed. Today, the tune is Happy Birthday, that old standby of yore. Read more…

Non-Traditional Notation

If you went back in time with only your computer, it’s saved internet cache, and a love for a cappella, how would you teach an arrangement if music notation hadn’t been invented? Well, if you’re Guido of Arezzo, you’ll just invent notation and that will be that…or you could utilize some non-traditional notation techniques. Fortunately, […]

Composite Parts

It seems that there isn’t a quick explanation of a composite part on this website…so here’s one! A composite part is when several parts combine to create one effect. Sometimes it’s used to make bell chords or arpeggios, or perhaps you are creating a sustained tone by fading back and forth between two singers. Maybe […]

Mavericks

A little while back, Public Radio did an excellent series of programs on American Music, called “American Mavericks.” Fortunately for us, you can read and listen to the great stuff online, even if you missed the radio broadcast (as many of you probably did). Ironically enough, many of these programs were used in my American […]

Listen to MyTube

If you want to get an MP3 of a YouTube video, there’s an excellent service called Listen to YouTube that you can use to strip MP3s from videos. Being able to take a tune with you on your iPod or phonograph is pretty handy, especially when it’s “I’m On a Boat.” For real, I made […]

The other end of the girly spectrum

To counterpoint the post below about über alto parts, here’s something that shows some excellent soprano work. This is a segment of a Cranberry cover of Wonderwall done by UGA Noteworthy. This is a definitely a CD recording: you’ll be hard pressed to find a hall with such wonderful echo-y acoustics, and tuning tight soprano […]

The Art of Song Selection 2: Mechanics and Logistics

While it’s well and good to know what your group is about, who your target audience is, where you want to take the group, and if your 2nd soprano is single, that doesn’t actually pick your songs. This article is geared towards the practicality of picking songs, and several methods with their pros and cons. […]

A brief Quick’n'Dirty 10-step Arranging guide

So maybe you don’t want to peruse the multitude of articles right now, and you just want fast and easy directions of how to do an a cappella arrangement. Will do, but here’s the caveat- this is just one way of going about an arrangement. I would recommend reading the other articles on this website […]