International Choir Festival InCanto Mediterraneo

Atmospheric Music For Your All-Abilities Choir

  • Atmospheric choral music often includes at least four harmony parts, sometimes many more. For the average village or community choir this can be a challenge to say the least, especially when many of the singers have limited experience or are non-music readers. For an all-abilities choir often music is best learned by ear or a call and repeat method. In many ways this can be an advantage for choir leaders however, as they don’t have to purchase expensive sets of scores. Your pianist can simply play the chords and the music can be learned directly from the recording.  

    Eternal Mystery

    Eternal Mystery by Midnight Syndicate is on the Official Roleplaying Soundtrack - Dungeons and Dragons. The music wouldn’t be out of place on any fantasy movie and if you have any active roleplayers who love DnD within your choir, this song would be the perfect soundtrack to their weekly game. Straight away you can visualise scenes from Lord of the Rings when you hear the music. Eternal Mystery can be easily attempted with only two parts and you can also experiment with some improvisation. Chant is another great atmospheric piece of music from this album that would be good for a choir. Learning the beginning chant in elvish will help your choir with their diction and expression. You can even ask your choir to dress as their favourite DnD characters to rehearsal one day - it would certainly be great fun. 

    Panda Chant II

    Panda Chant II by Meredith Monk is an incredible avant garde piece of music based around interesting vocal improvisations. The music is taken from The Games, a science fiction opera written by Monk in 1983. The opera is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the citizens of Earth have to take part in a series of games in order to save civilization. Think The Hunger Games, but way before it’s time. Panda Chant IIis an incredibly fun piece of music to sing - the voices begin as human, but quickly morph into animal sounds. The first few rehearsals will certainly provide some giggling. The music also includes many rhythmic stamps and claps that will need some careful coordination. 

    Sleep - Eric Whitacre

    The lyrics of Sleep by Eric Whitacre begin: “The evening hangs beneath the moon, a silver thread on darkened dune, with closing eyes and resting head, I know that sleep is coming soon.” This song provides a wonderful opportunity for your all-abilities choir to join others from all around the globe. The music is incredibly atmospheric and haunting and the harmonies complex, however your choir only needs to attempt one melody line. They can then join together with others as a larger virtual choir, which is how this music has been performed. The results are professional sounding and incredibly moving. You can also organise your own virtual choir in your local area, joining together via Zoom or Skype to perform this piece as a larger group. 

    Atmospheric music doesn’t have to be complex, it simply needs to be sung with heart. Your choir will enjoy being able to sing expressively together to create a beautiful sound. 

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