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Chorus Voice Matching (not blend!)

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This is the third article in a series for chorus directors and music teams. It is a companion to a video that HU produced in 2016 and a previous article on riser spacing. Avoid the fight A natural tendency in choral singing is to compete with the surrounding voices, a tendency called the Lombard Effect. This can be problematic if someone with a “smaller” singing voice stands next to someone wit...
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So You Think You Know Barbershop?

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This regular series is intended for music educators and others interested in knowing more about this unique vocal style. Most importantly, our goal is to provide support for musicians and constructive solutions for singers. So you think you know barbershop? Admit it: the go-to image in your mind of barbershop music is four guys in striped vests and boater hats. From the Dapper Dans serenading Di...
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Building Musicians: Resources for Learning Musicianship

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This regular series will examine different facets of building musicians in which we hope to dispel myths and inaccuracies. Most importantly, our goal is to provide support for music teams and provide constructive solutions for singers. Personal Musicianship  Singers join our chapters for many reasons, but all share the love of singing barbershop chords. Some singers come to us with years of sing...
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Meaningful Gestures: Riser Placement

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This is the second article in a series for chorus directors and music teams. This article is a companion to a video that HU produced in 2016.   Barbershop chorus singing has two variables that have great effect on acoustic output: riser placement and venue. This article discusses the science behind riser placement. I make a distinction between formation (mixed parts vs. sectional) and placem...
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Vocal Health Series: Vocal Health Perceptions

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This regular series will examine facets of vocal health by which we hope to dispel myths and inaccuracies. Most importantly, our goal is to provide support for those who have experienced vocal concerns and provide constructive solutions for singers.  First, an understanding Vocal health has been a hot topic recently, thanks to high-visibility performers such as Adele, Sam Smith and Michael Buble...
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Meaningful Gestures: What They See Is What You Get

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Directors, have you wondered why your chorus sometimes seems out-of-sync or ragged? This choppiness might be something you’re demonstrating with your gesture, even though you might not be aware of it. This is due to something called mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are the brain cells that pick up on social and emotional cues from other humans. If someone is hurt or upset, we can usually tell jus...
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