MixingMelodiesMakesMarvelousMusic

(click the title above to view and hear the music online)

is a unique series of compositions written for high, medium-high, medium, and low voices to be sung as solos, duets, trios, quartets, or in a choral setting.

Each part is written to be sung alone

or in combination with any of the other parts.

Another unique feature is that the parts are limited to the ranges of singers who are experiencing vocal mutation although they may be sung by people of all ages provided their voices are suitable to the range of a particular part.

Often beginning readers have difficulty following one specific part in a multiple-score setting, therefore each part is published separately to aid singers who are learning to sing in parts.  It is easier to follow one part in a score than to train the eye to fall on one specific part out of the six in each system (four vocal parts plus piano).  After the students' sight reading skills improve, the director may introduce the singers to full-score reading.  If for some reason directors do not desire individually published parts for their students, they may purchase a full choral score for each of the members of their choir.  However, since the part-scores have fewer pages, they usually cost less than the full choral score.

Part 1 is recommended for lyric sopranos or tenors. Adolescent first sopranos may sing this part with ease, but it may not be suitable for changed-voice adolescent tenors because the tessitura will be uncomfortable. High boy trebles also will enjoy this part.

Part 2 is designed for sopranos and tenors with slightly heavier voices. Although the part may contain notes just as high as those in part 1, the overall tessitura will be more comfortable. In a choral setting, second sopranos, second tenors, and possibly lyric baritones will be suited to this part. This part is also well-suited for boy trebles and elementary-aged singers.

Part 3 is written for older adolescent and adult altos. Also, when sung at actual pitch it is particularly suited for cambiatas (boys in the first phase of voice change). With few exceptions, the range lies between A above and A below middle C. Although the range is appropriate for females who sing alto, it is not recommended that young adolescents girls sing this part exclusively because it does not give them the opportunity to use pitches produced in head phonation thus resulting in chest-singing only, which is vocally unhealthy. As soloists, or in duets and trios, basses may also sing this part 8va down. It usually doesn't sound well when used as a bass part in four-part singing.

Part 4 is very flexible. Inexperienced male singers who are in various stages of range development and boys who have just entered the second phase of voice change (adolescent baritones) will be able to find a suitable note to sing in this part because when the part moves above middle C or beneath D below middle C, optional notes have been added for the sake of comfort. They will be able to use the comfortable singing tessitura of the voices which is essential for good vocal health at this point in their development. With all-female voices (SSAA), it may be sung by the first alto.

Directors will achieve better results when singing these parts in a choral setting if they will consider the following recommendations:

Early adolescent mixed chorus: Assign part 1 to first sopranos and part 2 to second sopranos and/or altos. Part 3 sounds best when sung by cambiatas but if you are short of cambiatas and have plenty of girls, altos may also be assigned to this part. Cambiatas seem to operate better when girls are assigned to the cambiata part instead of assigning cambiatas to a part designated "alto," so it is always best to refer to this part as the "cambiata" part. The girls usually don't mind. Part 4 is for adolescent baritones (second phase of voice change) and changed voices.

Older adolescent and adult mixed chorus: An SATB sound results when part 1 is assigned to sopranos, part 2 to tenors, part 3 to altos, and part 4 to baritones and basses. If the choir has mostly women and few men, which is often the case, divide the women three ways: Part 1 to first sopranos, part 2 to second sopranos, part 3 to altos, and part 4 to all the men. A fuller, more satisfying four-part sound results which is advantageous to employing the compromising approach of singing SAB.

Women's chorus: For best results assign part 1 to first sopranos, part 2 to second sopranos, and part 3 to altos. This is a very pleasing SSA effect. It you want an SSAA sound, you may assign part 4 to first altos and part 3 to second altos.

Men's chorus (early adolescent singers, mid-level age): Due to the difficulty of four-part singing with all-male groups at this age, you may want to sing only two or three parts. Depending upon which part you like the best, parts 1 or 2 should be assigned to changed-voice tenors and/or light baritones and sung 8va down, or they may be sung at actual pitch by boy trebles (unchanged voices). If one of the parts is a familiar melody, be sure to choose it. Assign part 3 to cambiatas (first phase of voice change) and part 4 to adolescent baritones (second phase of voice change) and changed voices.

Men's chorus (older adolescents, high school age): Assign part 1 to second tenors, part 2 to baritones, part 3 to cambiatas and first tenors (who will read the treble clef at actual pitch and sing falsetto) and part 4 to basses. Part 3 is about the same range and tessitura as the first tenor's part in TTBB voicing. In a choral setting, it is not advisable to assign part 3 to the basses to be sung 8va down.

  Remember, you may omit any of the parts and the arrangement will still sound fine.

 

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