International Choir Festival InCanto Mediterraneo

Songbooks and other resources for choirs (that will also make great presents)

  • [A version of this article first appeared as a post on my blog From the Front of the Choir]


    I’ve written before about finding songs for your choir (Where do you find all your songs? and Easy songs for your choir and Finding songs for your choir). But times move on and new books get published all the time.

    unesco-album

    Here’s a round up of songbooks and other resources that are either fairly new or which I haven’t mentioned before.

    Here is a list of recent and not so recent songbooks, DVDs, CDs, etc. for use with your choir. Click on the large image under each description to find out more.

     

    Fill the room with sky

    A varied collection of 25 of Jane Schonveld's songs and arrangements for community choirs, all in 3- and 4-part harmony. You can buy the physical songbook and then get access to free MIDI downloads of individual song parts.

    Fill the room with sky

     

    The Best of Village Harmony: a 25th Anniversary Collection

    Compiled and edited by Village Harmony co-directors Larry Gordon and Patty Cuyler to commemorate Village Harmony's 25th anniversary in 2014, this mammoth undertaking includes nearly 100 songs from around the world for a cappella choral ensemble. The accompanying mp3 CD-R has sample recordings for nearly all the songs in the book, with performances by Village Harmony, Northern Harmony and associated ensembles.

     

    Community Voiceworks

    Community Voiceworks: 40 inspirational songs and warm-ups for community choirs by Alison Burns and Gitika Partington. Book and two CDs. Part of the Oxford University Press’s Voiceworks series available from all good booksellers.

    Community Voiceworks

     

    The Choral Imperative

    Patty Cuyler and Mollie Stone have produced a series of songbooks and DVDs called Raising the Bar which currently covers songs from Georgia, Bulgaria and South Africa. Teaching a new ‘world music’ genre can be an intimidating prospect. The Choral Imperative resources assist you in helping your singers learn proper pronunciation, and do research on the song and its cultural milieu. You can buy the books direct from The Choral Imperative (in US dollars or British pounds).

    The Choral Imperative

     

    Voices of Iceland

    DVD of Icelandic folk songs and dances. An informative booklet, in English and Icelandic, about the various forms of Icelandic traditional music and dance, accompanies the DVD.

    Voices of Iceland

     

    UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music

    Comprises more than 125 albums of music from around the world. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings are gradually re-releasing all of those recordings published between 1961 and 2003 and out of print since 2005 as well as publishing a dozen previously unreleased albums. All will be available in both digital and physical formats.

    UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music

     

    Slovakian Roma songs

    Žudro is a non-profit, non-political, non-government, voluntary association in Slovakia. Their aim is to increase the tolerance of ethnic, social, cultural or otherwise different groups of people by monitoring, documenting, processing and subsequent visibility of cultural, spiritual values ​​and expressions of these groups of people at home and abroad. They have published several CDs and songbooks of ancient Roma songs from Slovakia, for example Phurikane gil'a.

    Roma songbooks

     

    99 Georgian songs

    The Centre for Performance Research raised money through Crowdfunder to re-publish 99 Georgian Songs in a revised and extended edition. It does exactly what it says on the book cover! An accompanying CD of parts and full songs is available too.

    99 Georgian songs

     

    The Sephardic Songbook

    By Joshua Horowitz and Aron Saltiel. 51 Judeo-Spanish songs in a book containing musical transcriptions, trilingual song texts (Ladino, German and English) and explanations.

    The Sephardic Songbook

     

    Traditional Cuban Songbook

    An on-line resource maintained by Jorge Fernández Crespo containing a bilingual Cuban traditional songbook with lyrics and audio recordings.

    Traditional Cuban Songbook

     

    Anthology of Traditional Prikamye Folklore

    Prikamye or Perm Krai is a federal subject of Russia in the east of the East European Plain and the western slope of the Middle Ural Mountains. The region is one of the top in Russia by its ethnic diversity, home to over 120 peoples. This website has plentiful music, videos and photographs of many of these ethnic groups. Some of the CDs are for sale.

    Anthology of Traditional Prikamye Folklore

     

    Amidon Music

    Peter and Mary Alice Amidon are versatile and widely respected performing and teaching artists who for the past twenty years have dedicated themselves to traditional song, dance and storytelling. Their website is packed with music downloads and songbooks for sale, mostly arrangements by the Amidons of traditional songs in SATB. You can download sheet music or buy physical products like CDs and DVDs.

    Amidon Music

     

    Jewish Songs for Harmony Singing

    This is a set of 20 of Judith Silver's own compositions. The songbook includes extensive notes, translations and pronunciation guides. There are recorded full versions on various CDs/iTunes etc., and sound files of the separate parts are available on request. You can buy this book and more of Judith's music from her website: www.judithsilver.com.

    Judith Silver book cover

     

    Open To the Day

    Open to the Day is a collection of 20 original songs, with music and lyrics by Ros Thomas. Composed specifically for unaccompanied, harmony singing, all of the songs have been tried, tested and enjoyed by a variety of singing groups and workshop participants, with content ranging from simple warm-ups and light-hearted short pieces, to more complex rounds and full lengths songs sung in two to five part harmony.

    The songbook contains 20 song scores and two audio CDs containing recordings of full songs and individual parts — all sung by Ros for the relative ease of learning from one voice rather than many. It costs £20 + p&p, and is available from Ros's website www.soundslikefun.org.

    Open to the day book cover




    And as always, if I’ve missed anything out that you think should be included here, then please leave a comment. Remember it’s mainly about traditional music from around the world, not Western classical or pop!

     

     

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    Chris Rowbury

     

    website: chrisrowbury.com
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